Present: B. Jones, D. Macurdy, N. Mason, G. Donaldson
Absent: T. Dickey, A. McCann (at cheering competition)
Brett Jones, Chair, called the meeting to order at 6:36 p.m.
- Review of Principal's Report
Ann McCann's report was read with interest, discussed, and accepted. There is a lot going on at the school and it's encouraging to see the improvement of achievement test scores, the involvement of parents and citizens (“Get Wet” program; the drama program), and the development of science instruction.
The Committee discussed ways of involving the town's videographer in filming the drama production and training students to use video for interviewing and projects that might be broadcast.
- Withdrawal from RSU 24
Brett and Gordon presented the withdrawal petition to the Board of Selectmen on March 1. They set the date for the Special Election on June 12, the day of the primary elections.
The Committee discussed the following:
- Collecting questions from the public and from school staff regarding the withdrawal process and our options. The Select Board is interested in this as well. Gordon will draft an invitation to submit questions or comments on the matter. Brett will contact the Select Board and Stu to circulate this invitation.
- Holding public meetings to share the information we collect and to discuss the question. Our April and May meetings will include public discussions for this purpose. April 2 6:30 p.m. and May 7 6:30 p.m. at the Town Hall (unless otherwise notified).
- Planning with Hancock. This is going forward with a two-town subcommittee, focusing both on the withdrawal agreement and a possible new district (an AOS or Alternative Organizational Structure) to include Lamoine, Hancock, possibly Otis, and possibly other towns.
- Setting a figure for the Special Election article: Based on our planning discussions with Hancock, we will recommend a dollar amount to the Select Board.
- The Board of Selectmen have sent a letter to the RSU requesting full disclosure of the funds spent by the RSU to operate the Lamoine Consolidated School. This information is essential to the planning mentioned in (c.)
- A selectman from Cherryfield has contacted us to inquire about joining the AOS planning process. To date, citizens from Lamoine, Hancock, Steuben, Sullivan, Cherryfield, and Otis have attended meetings to discuss withdrawal and/or forming a new district.
- Financial Information
Gordon shared summaries of past expenditures by Lamoine compared to expenditures under the new RSU. Observations from our discussion included:
- Lamoine's total expenditure for public education has been relatively “flat- lined” since 2004, not varying by more than 12%.
- The education expenditure has been steady as a percent of overall town spending (at 71% plus or minus 2%)
- Lamoine Cost per Student between 2006 and 2008 (pre-RSU) was $10,027 (slightly above the state average)
- Lamoine's Cost per Student:
- - in Year 1 of the RSU ('09-‘10) was $11,072
- - in Year 2 of the RSU ('10-'11) was $11,883
- Compared to the other 11 towns in the RSU, Lamoine's Cost Per Student from '06 to '08 (prior to the RSU) was just below the “future RSU” average. Ellsworth, Steuben, Flanders CSD (Sumner HS), Peninsula CSD (Gouldsboro & Winter Harbor) and Mariaville spent above the average.
- Meeting with school staff
The Committee discussed holding another open meeting with the staff, but felt that, because of the withdrawal activity, such a meeting might put staff in an uncomfortable position. The Committee will invite the staff to submit questions and comments about what is going on. If staff would like to meet, the Committee is ready to do so.
- Next Meeting: March 26 at 6:30 at the Town Hall.
Meeting adjourned at 8:20 pm
Respectfully submitted, Gordon Donaldson Acting Secretary