To the Editor:
Tuesday, Jan. 27 is a crucial day for the future of our local schools. On that day, the 11 towns in the proposed Central Lincoln County School System (CLCSS) will open the polls for the state-mandated vote on consolidation.
After more than one- and -a -half years of sometimes tumultuous meetings attended by representatives of Damariscotta, Newcastle, Bristol, South Bristol, Nobleboro, Jefferson, Edgecomb, Bremen, Boothbay, Boothbay Harbor, and Southport, an Alternative Organizational Structure (AOS) plan was finally defined and approved by the Commissioner of Education. While maybe not perfect, it is a good start.
Granted, it will not save any money immediately, but as the new structure is evolved and improved by trial, error and experience, I’m convinced the streamlined administration will prove fiscally positive.
There are good reasons that the CLCSS plan should be approved. A vote against reorganization will result in punitive damages inflicted by the state– loss of subsidies, and in Jefferson’s case, the new school building on which we’re making progress would be jeopardized.
The Alternative Organization Structure (AOS) form of consolidation assures that town control is retained by a continued local school committee and local school budgeting, and secures town ownership of the school building and property. The majority of us on the Jefferson School Committee felt strongly that Jefferson citizens would be most satisfied by a plan that would continue local control. High school choice is still assured by all plans statewide.
The school committee will host a public forum on Thursday, Jan. l5, at 6:30 p.m. at the school where school officials and committee members will be present to answer questions. We are hoping that our voters will be informed and ready for this most important referendum on Jan. 27, 8 a.m. till 8 p.m. at the Jefferson Fire Station.
We will appreciate your attendance at our forum and encourage your informed vote on Jan. 27.
Ellie Day, Vice Chair, Jefferson School Committee