MSMA: Committee unanimously endorses consolidation law changes

Maine School Management Association

Bulletin

March 5, 2010

 

Committee unanimously endorses consolidation law changes

The Education Committee today unanimously voted in favor of a bill that puts more flexibility into the school consolidation law for those districts that want to come together, but don’t meet the current minimum size requirements.

The bill will now go to the full Legislature for a vote with the backing of not only the committee, but Commissioner of Education Susan Gendron.

The proposed legislation would:

  • Allow districts that are smaller than the 1,200-student minimum currently in the law to form Regional School Units or Alternative Organizational Structures, if their plan is approved by the Commissioner of Education and local voters. There is no minimum size in the proposal, but districts must show they have worked to comply with the law.
  • Allow proposed districts to count students from the Unorganized Territory in their student count to meet the minimum-size requirements in the law
  • Remove the requirement in current law that AOSs have to hold a separate vote on central administrative costs and instead can approve those costs in the budget validation votes held in their member towns
  • Provide a mechanism to allow member entities to withdraw from an RSU or an AOS after three years and require them to join another regional unit after two years to stay in compliance with the consolidation law. Except for the two- and three-year requirements, the mechanism is modeled on law formerly in place for withdrawal  from a School Administrative District
  • Allow AOSs to have their state subsidy calculated and reported on a per-member basis instead of as a single unit
  • Allow members of a regional unit to establish a common date for the start of terms on the school board of directors even though directors are elected on different dates in their communities
  • Establish collective bargaining procedures for when and if the AOS central office becomes the employer of individuals in a collective bargaining unit who had previously been employed by a school administrative unit

 

Contact: Dale Douglass, executive director douglass@msmaweb.com

Victoria Wallack, communications director vwallack@msmaweb.com

Telephone: 207-622-3473  or 1-800-660-8484