If St. George breaks from school district, Camden-area voters asked to accept its students

Posted April 03, 2014, at 12:55 p.m.
Last modified April 03, 2014, at 1:13 p.m.

ST. GEORGE, Maine — A second school system has agreed to support accepting St. George high school students in the event the town breaks away from Regional School Unit 13, the Rockland-area school district.

The Five-Town Community School District board voted unanimously Wednesday night to accept high school students from St. George. This is contingent, however, on voter approval in the five towns — Camden, Rockport, Lincolnville, Hope and Appleton — at a June referendum.

This is also contingent on St. George reaching a withdrawal agreement with Regional School Unit 13 as well as approval of the commissioner of the Maine Department of Education.

The proposed contract between St. George and the Five-Town Community School District calls for the Camden Hills Regional High School to accept 15 to 25 St. George students starting in September 2015.

St. George has about 100 students in grades eight through 12 attending Oceanside High Schools in Rockland and Thomaston. About 80 are in grades nine to 12.

Last month, School Administrative District 40 — which includes Medomak Valley High School in Waldoboro — gave its superintendent approval to negotiate a contract with St. George for accepting some high school students. Any agreement will have to come back before the board but will not require a referendum of the five towns in SAD 40, said interim Superintendent Michael Cormier.

Cormier said that there was no minimum or maximum number of students agreed to in the board vote for him to negotiate an agreement.

The town would pay the state tuition rate for each student.

This year’s tuition rate is $9,210.

St. George would be responsible for its own transportation, and Five-Town Community School District Superintendent Elaine Nutter said its proposed contract also calls for St. George to contribute money for debt service for maintenance of the high school.

St. George and RSU 13 have been at odds over terms of the withdrawal. St. George has asked that its students be allowed to attend Oceanside.

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