"Presentation School Consolidation Law"
School Consolidation Law Implementation Update November 2007 Dr. Henry R. Scipione Public Law: Objectives • Equitable educational opportunities • Rigorous academic programs • Uniformity on tax rates for education • More efficient and effective use of limited resources • Preservation of school choice • Maximum opportunity to deliver services in an efficient manner Framework • New Regional School Units (RSU) Target of no more than 80 units 2500 student population 1200 stand-alone Exceptions: “Doughnut Hole” High Performing and High Efficient All units must submit a plan Timeline • July-August 2007: Partners determined • August 31: Notice of Intent • September - November: RPC established and work begun • December 1: RPC submits plan to DoE • December 15: DoE acts on plan submission • June 10, 2008: Town Referendum • July 1, 2009: Penalties incurred for units not reorganized as RSU Penalty for York • York eligible for 50% of minimum State allocation – Current amount: $2,256,340 York-Wells/Ogunquit-Kittery • Summer 2007 School Committee explored options • Completed financial, program and curriculum analysis • Determined best match was Wells/Ogunquit • Created Wells/Ogunquit-York RPC RPC Plan • Process mandated by DoE • Sub-committee organization: – Finance – Policy/Contracts – Property/Debt – Governance • Due Diligence and Good Faith Effort Continuing Process • RPC to continue its work • Complete plan late winter • Seek approval from DoE • Voter Referendum: June 10, 2008 What Does It Mean? • One School Department for York, Wells and Ogunquit • One School Committee with town representation • One Central Office Administration Superintendent Special Education Finance Curriculum What is the Impact? • Local control • Schools no longer part of municipality • System-level leadership • Merge two systems: curriculum, finance, special education, administration • Curriculum and Instructional changes • Transfer facilities ownership to RSU - $50mil • Retain local debt - $20mil • Cost (undetermined) • York Identity Budget Validation • Requires that all Maine school budgets be approved by voters through a validation process • Calls for an open school budget meeting of all voters to approve budget (Town Meeting) • Within 10 days must be a public referendum to validate the decision of the public meeting • Will change York’s Charter requirements • Repeat process until budget is approved and validated The Question • Do you favor approving a school administrative reorganization plan prepared by the Wells-Ogunquit/York Planning Committee to reorganize the Wells-Ogunquit CSD #18 and York School Department into a regional school unit, with an effective date of July 1, 2009? Yes/No The Question • A “Yes” vote means that you approve York joining the proposed RSU with more favorable consideration in approval and funding of school construction projects; and eligibility for additional financial support for reorganization costs. • A “No” vote means that you do not approve York joining a regional school unit which will result in the following penalties: less favorable consideration in approval and funding of school construction projects; and a reduction in state funding of education in an amount estimated to be $1,128,170 with the possibility of ongoing penalties for failure to join an RSU. Important Decision The decision regarding School Consolidation will be the most significant educational decision our community will make. Your vote will determine the future for students and our schools.