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INFORMATIONAL LETTER: 97
POLICY CODE: BA

 

 

TO:                Superintendents of Schools

FROM:            Susan A. Gendron, Commissioner

DATE:             April 18, 2007

RE:                 Regionalization Models Survey

 

The Appropriations Subcommittee on Education presented its recommendations to the full Appropriations Committee on Monday, April 9, 2007.  A summary of the recommendations may be accessed at maine.gov/education/supportingschools/index.html. The subcommittee’s recommendations include a requirement that the Department of Education create one or more alternatives to achieve the following:

Number and size of districts.  There would be no more than 80 regional school units total.  Most regional school units (RSUs) will have a minimum of 2,500 students; some units would have fewer than 2,500 students because of “geographic, demographic, economic, transportation, population density or other unique circumstances.”  That could include, e.g., some island school units and Native American schools.  All communities would have to be part of a regional school unit and could not “opt out.”

Existing units with more than 2,500 students would not be automatically exempted from the reorganization process.  All units would be reviewed for possible reorganization and partnership with other nearby units as part of an overall plan to ensure no more than 80 regional school units.

The President of the Senate, Beth Edmonds, has asked the Department of Education to prepare models for legislators to examine as they deliberate on these recommendations.  As the Department begins this work, I want to invite you to submit recommendations for this modeling.  Almost daily we hear about the work happening between school administrative units regarding possible reorganizations, and want to build models on the conversations that have already begun.


The timeline for the implementation indicated in the subcommittee’s proposal, if passed by the legislature, is July 1, 2008.  To facilitate a successful start to this process, if passed, I have engaged the professional leadership of two former superintendents, Ray Poulin and Norman Higgins.  We have a very short timeframe to prepare the models and would appreciate you sending your input by responding to the attached set of questions and returning your responses to the following e-mail commish.doe@maine.gov by Wednesday, April 25, 2007. (If your school administrative unit is waiting for final resolution from the legislature on reorganization prior to engaging in conversations with other units but would like to offer your input, please complete the contact information on the attached sheet and question 3.)

I appreciate your assistance as the Department prepares these preliminary models. 

Attachment: Regionalization Models Survey