March 24, 2018
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Union 102, East Machias voters approve new school system

By Sharon Kiley Mack, BDN Staff

MACHIAS, Maine — Voters in Union 102 and the town of East Machias overwhelmingly voted Thursday to create an alternative organizational structure for local schools that will be called the Machias Bay Area School System. By doing so, the 11 area towns avoided a total of $216,978 in state penalties for failure to consolidate.

Superintendent Scott Porter said the final vote was 709 in favor, 43 opposed. He said 94.3 percent of the votes cast were in favor of the AOS.

The 11 participating towns and their votes were:

East Machias, 188 yes, 8 no.

Jonesboro, 57 yes, 3 no.

Machias, 81 yes, 5 no.

Marshfield, 52 yes, 2 no.

Northfield, 14 yes, 3 no.

Roque Bluffs, 28 yes, 0 no.

Wesley, 19 yes, 2 no.

Whitneyville, 33 yes, 1 no.

Cutler, 70 yes, 2 no.

Machiasport, 104 yes, 17 no.

Whiting, 63 yes, 0 no.

In public hearings at each of the communities earlier this month, Porter explained that the change to an alternative organizational structure would affect only the central office and administration. He said the Union 102 Central Office already is providing services for the 11 area towns, either through the union or by contract. Each of the 11 towns would retain its own school board, receive its own subsidy check and have control over its own school. Any one of the towns also could vote to withdraw from the new system.

Porter said he would gather certified voting results today and turn them into the Maine Department of Education. The state Board of Education then will vote on approving the alternative organizational structure.

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