SOUTHWEST HARBOR SCHOOL COMMITTEE FORUM ON THE STATE SCHOOL CONSOLIDATION AND COLLABORATION PROPOSAL...
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SOUTHWEST HARBOR SCHOOL COMMITTEE FORUM ON THE STATE SCHOOL CONSOLIDATION AND COLLABORATION PROPOSAL 4-11-07. THE FOCUS OF TONIGHT’S FORUM WILL BE TO GIVE AN EXPLANATION OF THE PROPOSAL AS IT NOW STANDS AND HOW THE PEMETIC SCHOOL AND THE SOUTHWEST HARBOR COMMUNITY COULD BE AFFECTED.

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HISTORY OF THE PROPOSAL AND WHERE IT NOW STANDS:

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History of the proposal and where it now stands

SOUTHWEST HARBOR SCHOOL COMMITTEE FORUM ON THE STATE SCHOOL CONSOLIDATION AND COLLABORATION PROPOSAL 4-11-07


History of the proposal and where it now stands

THE FOCUS OF TONIGHT’S FORUM WILL BE TO GIVE AN EXPLANATION OF THE PROPOSAL AS IT NOW STANDS AND HOW THE PEMETIC SCHOOL AND THE SOUTHWEST HARBOR COMMUNITY COULD BE AFFECTED


History of the proposal and where it now stands

HISTORY OF THE PROPOSAL AND WHERE IT NOW STANDS:

  • AFTER THE NOVEMBER ELECTION WAS OVER, GOVERNOR BALDACCI UNVEILED HIS PLAN FOR SCHOOL DISTRICT CONSOLIDATION WHICH REQUIRED REDUCING THE NUMBER OF SCHOOL UNITS IN THE STATE OF MAINE FROM 290 DOWN TO 26 AS A PART OF HIS PROPOSED BUDGET PACKAGE FOR THE NEXT TWO YEARS

  • THE PEMETIC SCHOOL AND ALL THE OTHER UNION 98 SCHOOLS WOULD HAVE BEEN ASSIGNED UNDER THIS ORIGINAL PROPOSAL TO A SCHOOL DISTRICT THE SIZE OF HANCOCK COUNTY WITH ONE BOARD, ONE BUDGET AND WITH 35 TOWNS AND 36 SCHOOLS INVOLVED

  • THE LEGISLATURE’S EDUCATION COMMITTEE THEN MET FOR SEVERAL WEEKS IN FEBRUARY AND MARCH AND SUGGESTED THE FORMATION OF PLANNING ALLIANCES TO DISCUSS ESTABLISHING SCHOOL DISTRICTS OF APPROXIMATELY 1200 STUDENTS

  • THE LEGISLATURE’S APPROPRIATION COMMITTEE DID NOT FEEL THAT THE EDUCATION COMMITTEES PROPOSAL WENT FAR ENOUGH AND HAVE SUGGESTED A PLAN OF THEIR OWN

  • THE APPROPRIATION’S COMMITTEE WILL BE SUBMITTING THEIR PLAN TO THE FULL LEGISLATURE FOR A VOTE IN EARLY MAY

  • APPROVAL OF THE LATEST PLAN MUST BE BY A 2/3’S VOTE OF THE FULL LEGISLATURE AND IS EMBEDDED IN THE TOTAL NEW STATE BUDGET FOR THE NEXT TWO YEARS (UNLESS THE BILL IS REMOVED FROM THE BUDGET PACKAGE)

  • CONSOLIDATION WILL BE MANDATORY AND NO PUBLIC VOTE WILL BE HELD TO APPROVE THE PROPOSALS


Appropriations committee plan size of the proposed new districts

APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE PLAN:SIZE OF THE PROPOSED NEW DISTRICTS

  • DISTRICTS WOULD BE A MINIMUM SIZE OF 2500 STUDENTS WITH SOME EXCEPTIONS ALLOWED BY THE COMMISSIONER OF EDUCATION DUE MOSTLY TO GEOGRAPHIC ISOLATION

  • THERE WOULD THEN BE APPROXIMATELY 80 SCHOOL DISTRICTS IN THE STATE OF MAINE DOWN FROM THE PRESENT NUMBER OF 290


Mechanism and requirements for forming new districts

MECHANISM AND REQUIREMENTS FOR FORMING NEW DISTRICTS:

  • THE COMMISSIONER OF EDUCATION WOULD PROVIDE “MODELS” TO CONSIDER FOR CONSOLIDATION BY JUNE 30TH OF THIS YEAR

  • DISTRICT REALIGNMENT COMMITTEES WOULD THEN BE FORMED THIS SUMMER TO WORK OUT THE DETAILS OF THE LOCAL CONSOLIDATION PLANS

  • THE ALIGNMENT COMMITTEE MAY REJECT THE DOE’S PLAN AND THEN SUBMIT AN ALTERNATIVE IF THE NEW PLAN MEETS CERTAIN REQUIREMENTS

  • EACH PLAN MUST INCULDE AT LEAST ONE HIGH SCHOOL

  • EACH PLAN MUST YIELD THE FOLLOWING SAVINGS:

    • 5% SAVINGS FROM 07-08 FOR SPECIAL EDUCATION, FACILITIES/MAINTENANCE AND TRANSPORTATION

    • A SYSTEM ADMINISTRATION COST NOT TO EXCEED THE ESTABLISHED EPS RATE FOR 08-09 ($186/STUDENT)

    • NOTE: IN THE 2008-2009 SCHOOL YEAR THERE WILL BE NO EPS FUNDING FOR EXTRA AND CO-CURRICULAR PROGRAMMING


Governance structure

GOVERNANCE STRUCTURE

  • THE DISTRICT ALIGNMENT COMMITTEE WOULD DETERMINE THE MAKE-UP OF THE NEW BOARD OF DIRECTORS

  • THE MEMBERS OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS WOULD BE ELECTED WITH AT LEAST ONE REPRESENTATIVE FROM EACH TOWN IN THE NEW DISTRICT

  • VOTING POWER WILL BE BASED ON THE “ONE MAN/ONE VOTE PRINCIPLE”

  • LOCAL ADVISORY COUNCILS MAY BE FORMED AT THE BUILDING LEVEL TO GIVE INPUT ON DECISION MAKING TO THE NEW BOARD OF DIRECTORS


Budgeting and funding process

BUDGETING AND FUNDING PROCESS:

  • ONE BUDGET FOR THE ENTIRE DISTRICT WOULD BE DEVELOPED BY THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF THE NEW REGION

  • THE BUDGET MUST BE ORGANIZED AND PRESENTED IN A TRANSPARENT MANNER WITH REFERENCE TO EPS COST CENTER AMOUNTS AND STATE FORMULAS AND AVERAGES

  • THE BUDGET WOULD BE VOTED ON AT A DISTRICT BUDGET MEETING

  • ANY AMOUNT OF MONEY TO BE RAISED OVER THE EPS AMOUNT MUST BE APPROVED BY A 2/3’S VOTE OF THE DISTRICT MEETING AND THEN SUBMITTED TO ALL THE VOTERS OF THE DISTRICT SHORTLY AFTER THE BUDGET MEETING IS HELD THROUGH A REFERENDUM PROCESS FOR FINAL APPROVAL

  • COST SHARING IN THE NEW DISTRICT WOULD BE DETERMINED BY A TOWN’S PERCENTAGE OF ENROLLMENT IN THE NEW DISTRICT UP TO AN ESTABLISHED MIL RATE LIMIT…THEREFORE HIGH VALUATION TOWNS WITH LOW ENROLLMENTS WOULD EXPERIENCE HIGH PER STUDENT COSTS


Timeline for forming new districts

TIMELINE FOR FORMING NEW DISTRICTS:

2007

  • NOW TO MAY 30: DISTRICT OPTIONS DESIGNED BY DOE

  • MAY 15-JUNE 30: DOE PRESENTS NEW MODELS

  • JULY 1-OCTOBER 30: REALIGNMENT COMMITTEES FORMED AND PLANS DEVELOPED AT THE LOCAL LEVEL WITH STATE SUPPORT

  • NOVEMBER 15: DEADLINE FOR PLANS TO BE SUBMITTED

  • NOVEMBER 30: DEADLINE FOR DOE TO APPROVE OR DISAPPROVE PLANS

  • DECEMBER 21: DEADLINE FOR REVISED PLANS TO BE SUBMITTED TO THE DOE

  • DECEMBER 31: DOE PRESENTS APPROVED PLANS TO STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION FOR CERTIFICATION

    2008

  • JANUARY 15: DEADLINE FOR STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION TO CERTIFY ALL NEW REGIONAL SCHOOL UNITS

  • JANUARY 15-APRIL15: PREPARE BUDGET, ELECT NEW GOVERNING BOARDS, RECRUIT NEW SUPERINTENDENT, VOTE ON NEW DISTRICT BUDGET (NOTE: CURRENT SCHOOL BOARDS AND ADMINISTRATORS REMAIN DURING THIS TIME)

  • JULY 1: NEW REGIONAL SCHOOL UNITS BECOME OEPRATIONAL


Rules dealing with the closing of schools

RULES DEALING WITH THE CLOSING OF SCHOOLS:

  • A 2/3’S VOTE OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS WOULD BE REQUIRED TO CLOSE A LOCAL SCHOOL IN THE NEW DISTRICT

  • A TOWN COULD VOTE TO KEEP THEIR LOCAL SCHOOL OPEN IF THEY VOTE TO RAISE THE AMOUNT OF MONEY THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN SAVED IF THE SCHOOL WERE TO HAVE CLOSED ABOVE THEIR REGULAR DISTRICT ASSSESSMENT


Employee contract issues

EMPLOYEE CONTRACT ISSUES:

  • ALL EMPOLYEE WITH CONTRACTS WOULD BE TRANSFERRED OVER TO THE NEW DISTRICT UNTIL THEY EXPIRE AND THEN A NEW NEGOTIATED AGREEMENT WILL HAVE TO BE DEVELOPED

  • TEACHERS WOULD REMAIN IN PLACE AT LEAST IN THE FIRST YEAR OF TRANSITION TO THE NEW SCHOOL ORGANIZATION PLAN


School choice

SCHOOL CHOICE:

  • TOWNS THAT HAD NO HIGH SCHOOL IN THE PREVIOUS SCHOOL ARRANGEMENT WOULD BE ALLOWED TO CONTINUE TO SEND THEIR STUDENTS TO THE HIGH SCHOOL OF THEIR CHOICE AFTER THE NEW DISTRICT HAS BEEN FORMED


School property and assets

SCHOOL PROPERTY AND ASSETS:

  • ALL SCHOOL PROPERTY AND ALL ASSETS WOULD BE TRANSFERRED OVER TO THE NEW DISTRICT

  • ANY LOCAL DEBT WOULD REMAIN THE RESPONSIBIITY OF EACH INDIVIDUAL TOWN THAT ORGINALLY APPROVED THAT DEBT UNLESS THE NEW DISTRICT PLAN AGREES TO ASSUME THE DEBT INVOLVED


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