May 25, 2018
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SADs 41 and 31 file letters of intent to consolidate administration

By Diana Bowley, BDN Staff

MILO, Maine — SAD 41 directors have filed a letter of intent with the state Department of Education to consolidate administrative offices with SAD 31 in the Howland region.

The Milo area directors voted unanimously Wednesday to do that, according to SAD 41 Superintendent Michael Wright. He added that Howland directors also voted to file a similar letter of intent. Combined, the two districts have about 1,300 students.

“It went very smoothly and I think people were pretty positive about the possibility of this arrangement,” Wright said earlier this week.

If the DOE approves the proposed plan as early as this week, both districts plan to hold January referendums for voter approval. Public hearings will be held before the vote, Wright said.

SAD 41 directors have changed next month’s meeting from Dec. 1 to Dec. 15 to continue with the process. Wright said it’s likely the warrants will be signed at that meeting for the referendum vote.

If residents in both communities approve the referendum, then the next step would be to create an Alternative Organization Structure board and to have the plan operational by July 1, Wright said.

Both districts have agreed on a 50-50 cost-sharing method since the valuation and student enrollments are so similar in each district, Wright said. They also have agreed on a weighted voted for the AOS board based on population.

Wright said the district still has to absorb this year’s penalty for not complying earlier with the state law requiring administrative consolidation. If the current plan is approved, the district will avoid any further penalties for not reorganizing.

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