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Home > Rules & Legislation > Letters from the Commissioner > Informational Letters > Letter 114

INFORMATIONAL LETTER NO:  114

POLICY CODE:  BA

TO:                Superintendents of Schools

FROM:           Susan A. Gendron, Commissioner

DATE:            June 8, 2007

RE:                Next Steps in the Reorganization Process

The Maine Legislature has passed the two year State budget, including legislation regarding the reorganization of school administrative units.  With the debate behind us and the passage of the law, now begins the hard work of implementing the reorganization law.  It is, without doubt, an aggressive timetable to which we must all adhere; it is new territory and there will be unforeseen and significant challenges along the way.

I wanted to reach you as quickly as possible to give you a quick summary on what to expect next in this process.

  • First, and foremost, we are in the process of scheduling regional meetings, as required in the law, at which we will provide information about the reorganization law and guidance about moving forward with regional planning, as well as answer your questions.

    The meetings will take place between June 18 and July 15 – one in each CTE region.  Presentations will be made by myself; Jim Rier, the Department’s Director of Finance and Operations; or Norm Higgins, a former superintendent who has been engaged by the Department to lead this work with Ray Poulin, also a former superintendent.  We will send notice of the first meeting dates, times, and locations very soon.  We will also post them on our website in the reorganization section (www.maine.gov/education/supportingschools/).
  • Our other major effort at this time is preparing to hire facilitators.  We are in the preliminary stages of that process, and we intend to move quickly.  These facilitators will be made available upon request to provide assistance in the reorganization process.

We have been asked about maps, and I’d like to clarify that we are not planning to create new maps.  The maps that were created as part of the “suggested model” several weeks ago, at the request of legislative leadership, were based on statutory criteria, which have not changed significantly.  Remember that these maps are simply tools to provide a starting point for discussions among local school units; they are not proposed partnerships.

At this time, I encourage you to continue (or start, if you haven’t already) conversations with nearby SAUs about the possibility of regionalizing, and to have conversations within your own community about how best to achieve savings as required in the legislation without adversely affecting our students in the classroom.

Norm and Ray continue to be available to you during the process to help answer your questions and continue your planning.  They can be reached at 624-6638.

I look forward to our continued efforts as we work together to implement this new legislation.