May 25, 2018
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Voters to decide new school plan

By Jen Lynds, BDN Staff

HODGDON, Maine — Voters in 19 towns in southern Aroostook County and a portion of Washington County will go to the polls Tuesday to vote on a plan to consolidate their school districts’ administrations.

Voters in SAD 70 in Hodgdon, SAD 14 in Danforth, CSD 9 in Dyer Brook and the municipal units of Hersey, Moro Plantation, Orient and Bancroft will decide whether to form an Alternative Organizational Structure.

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

Once that happened, all the members of the RSU except SAD 29 submitted a plan to form an Alternative Organizational Structure. The alternative called for those districts and towns to partner on reorganization. That plan was approved by the Department of Education.

SAD 70 is made up of the towns of Amity, Cary Plantation, Haynesville, Hodgdon, Linneus, Ludlow and New Limerick; CSD 9 has the towns of Crystal, Dyer Brook, Island Falls, Merrill, Oakfield and Smyrna; and SAD 14 consists of the towns of Danforth and Weston.

SAD 70 Superintendent Robert McDaniel said Friday that he is not sure how voters will react to the proposal.

“I really don’t know,” he said. “I think it will be more appealing than the original RSU proposal.”

McDaniel said the districts involved do not anticipate saving much money.

“All this will do is help us avoid penalties for not complying with the law,” said McDaniel. “That is where the savings will be. But all of our schools will remain open. The only thing that will be different is that we will have only one central office.”

The state’s deadline for school districts to vote on DOE-approved proposals to consolidate administrations is Jan. 30.


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