Media Archive

SAD 41 board approves Lake View agreement

Article from The Piscataquis Observer, Vol. 164, No. 29, July 17, 2002

By Sarah MacIlroy
Staff Writer

MILO SAD 41 school board members lent their approval to an withdrawal agreement between the district and Lake View Plantation at a board meeting last week.

After the Department of Education reviews the agreement, it could be sent back to the school board for another reading at their next meeting. If the process stays on schedule. Lake View could be out of the district by July 1, 2003.

"What you see the result of months of work by the withdrawal committee," explained Superintendent David Walker, referring to the agreement. "I think it's a good agreement."

The five-page document includes the technical terms and conditions for withdrawal, including how much of the district's debt is owned by Lake View.

The agreement stipulates that Lake View will be liable for 20 percent of debt incurred prior to June 30, 2002. With a total debt reaching about $130,000, the town will end up paying about $26,000. Any debts incurred after that date will not affect the amount Lake View owes.

"This (the cut off date) lets Lake View sleep at night between now and next June," said Walker. "As a trade-off. Lake View has agreed to pay special education costs for their students."

Starting next fall. Lake View will pay all costs for any students with special needs they send to the district.

The rest of the agreement appears to be standard. Students will be tuitioned to the district, and the town will contract with SAD 41 for the transportation of kindergarten through eighth-grade students.

The withdrawal process was formally initiated by Lake View Plantation last fall when residents petitioned to drop membership in the district. A special 1965 law allowed the community to pay education costs on a per-student basis rather than on a property valuation basis like other towns, and historically, the agreement worked because Lake View had so few students in the district. Also, at that time, Milo was searching for the three towns necessary to form a school district.

But after discussion from the surrounding communities about repealing the special law. Lake View residents decided their best bet was to withdraw and tuition their students to Milo.

Walker explained that the agreement doesn't create a great deal of change for Lake View students, but it does remove Lake View from the state funding formula.

As one of the highest valued communities in the area, the town could have faced a tax rate increase of around 10 mils if they had stayed in the district and the special law had been repealed. By withdrawing they will escape the spike and the school district could begin receiving about $20,000 more in state subsidy.

NOTE - This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of the TRC Alliance Team.