Voters support SAD 31-41 consolidation

Posted Jan. 27, 2011, at 1:45 a.m.

MILO, Maine — In a series of individual referendum votes Tuesday, residents of the 10 communities that make up SADs 31 and 41 agreed to form a new Alternative Organization Structure, or AOS, that will allow for the consolidation of some business functions.

The measure passed 276-78, with SAD 31 residents voting 124-46 in favor and SAD 41 residents voting 152-32 in favor.

SAD 41 member towns are Atkinson, Brownville, LaGrange and Milo. SAD 31 consists of of Howland, Passadumkeag, Enfield, Burlington, Maxfield and Edinburg.

According to documents posted on SAD 41’s website, the newly created AOS will combine only the central office functions of the two districts, allowing for the elimination of one of the two existing superintendent positions and the combining of central office business functions.

Before Tuesday’s votes, the limited consolidation plan had won the endorsement of the Maine Department of Education, the boards of both districts and the Regional Planning Committee.

Under the plan, each district will retain its own board of directors to oversee day-to-day operations. Each also will keep its own debts and assets.

Among other things, the move will eliminate costly state penalties by meeting the school consolidation law requirements.

It also will result in an additional savings of $75,000 over the next three years.

In a letter to residents, SAD 41 board members said the new partnership one day might provide expanded programs for students by enabling the two districts to share the costs for initiatives they cannot fund alone.

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