Aroostook school districts weigh merger

Posted April 07, 2010, at 8:11 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 11:31 a.m.

STACYVILLE, Maine — Representatives from school boards in two Aroostook County school districts are moving forward with an attempt to merge into a regional school unit.

Representatives from the SAD 25 and Community School District 9 school boards decided by consensus Tuesday to have the full boards of each district vote on whether to send a letter of intent to the state Department of Education signifying their plans to form an RSU, John Doe, superintendent in SAD 25, said Wednesday.

Tuesday’s joint meeting did not include the full school boards.

SAD 25, with two schools, consists of Mount Chase, Patten, Sherman and Stacyville. CSD 9, with one school, is made up of Crystal, Dyer Brook, Island Falls, Merrill, Oakfield and Smyrna.

Doe said SAD 25 plans to address the matter during a school board meeting on April 14; and CSD 9 on April 12.

Voters in both districts have made several attempts to comply with the state’s consolidation law.

In November 2008, voters turned down a proposed regional school consolidation plan that called for SAD 29 in Houlton, SAD 70 in Hodgdon, SAD 14 in Danforth, SAD 25, CSD 9, and the municipal units of Hersey, Moro Plantation, Orient and Bancroft to form the Tri-County Regional School Unit.

After that, all the members of the proposed RSU except SAD 29 submitted a plan for an alternative organizational structure. The Department of Education approved it, but voters in several member towns, including CSD 9, rejected the proposal. Voters in SAD 25 accepted the plan, but the district could not move forward without a partner.

If both school boards decide to move forward in their effort to form an RSU, voters still would have to approve the plan.

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