To the Editor:
On Jan. 27, in accordance with the School Consolidation Law proposed by Governor Baldacci and passed by the Legislature, the voters of School Union 74, along with the voters of School Union 49, and the Town of Jefferson will go to the polls to vote on whether or not they wish their school district to become part of a combined Alternative Organizational Structure.
This plan has been put together by a Regional Planning Committee comprised of representatives of the school boards and town governments of all the towns involved and approved by the Commissioner of Education.
I think it is fair to say that had the Governor’s School Consolidation Plan not passed the Legislature, this would not be anyone in Union 74’s chosen method to save money. However the reality is that the plan did pass through the Legislature and to not pass this plan will result in significant loss of State subsidy to our towns.
I also think it is fair to say that other than protecting our state subsidy, there is little to no savings for the first year, but this plan will create a structure that should lead to savings in the future.
The governor and the legislature are to be applauded for wanting to deal with the issue of the ever-increasing cost of education. It is unfortunate that the plan was not better thought out and executed.
Each town will be holding public hearings on this plan, at which time the superintendent of Union 74 will explain the plan and its ramifications and questions may be asked of that town’s representatives to the RPC. Damariscotta’s public hearing will be at 6 p.m. on Jan. 14, just prior to the regularly scheduled GSB School Board meeting. Please plan to attend and please vote on Jan. 27.
James Cosgrove, Chairman, Great Salt Bay School Board, Damariscotta