Presentation on theme: "Facts on Withdrawing from an RSU Presented by the RSU Withdrawal Working Group January 6 th, 2014 Public Hearing."— Presentation transcript:
Facts on Withdrawing from an RSU Presented by the RSU Withdrawal Working Group January 6 th, 2014 Public Hearing
History-How Did We get Here? July 1 st, 2008-West Bath joined RSU #1 Cost-sharing was implemented incorrectly – 1/3 student population, 1/3 valuation, 1/3 population – West Bath was overtaxed $1.9 million over four years – Lawsuit pending in court right now on this issue Last March RSU #1 voted to change the formula – Subsidy no longer given to the RSU but to Towns – West Bath’s taxes increased by approximately 15%
Petition Started The withdrawal process is the result of a citizens’ petition. – More than 100 people signed this petition – The goal is to withdraw from RSU #1 Top Reasons: – Loss of cost control $5.2 Million Bond – Loss of school choice for our children – Loss of control over the budgeting process Lack of representation – Preserve West Bath School
Details on Local Control Prior to RSU #1 – West Bath’s Budget Advisory Committee met with the Union 47 Board and superintendent several times – Selectmen met with the Union 47 Board – Budget Advisory Committee, Board of Selectmen, and West Bath local School Board made recommendation at Town Meeting Now – RSU Board has a Finance Committee which eliminated: Meetings with West Bath individually West Bath Town Meeting Discussion on School Budget Representation concerns – November 2013 $5.2 million bond passed West Bath asked for a delay and was told this would not happen
Details on School Choice Prior to RSU #1 – West Bath students could attend Bath schools – West Bath families could choose to attend another school – West Bath would pay the State tuition rate to that school Now – West Bath students may no longer choose their high school – West Bath students must attend Morse High School – All towns have elementary school choice within RSU #1 Cost varies by town
Details on Cost-Sharing Please note that the 2008 year was the last year before consolidation. 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012 are the four years of incorrect application of the LD 910 law. 2013 is the year during which the 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 formula was applied. 2014 is the current year with the new “per pupil” funding method.
More Details on Cost-Sharing The Cost-per-Student is the amount each Town would pay before subsidy. If the subsidy were credited to the RSU as is done throughout the State, all Towns would pay the same amount of $8,658. However, RSU 1’s new cost-sharing formula credits subsidy back to the Towns, resulting in each Town paying a different amount to participate in RSU #1. There is question on the legality of that, and West Bath is currently exploring that with RSU #1 and legal counsel.
If Subsidy Were Applied to the RSU If subsidy were applied to the RSU as-a-whole, everyone would pay the same amount-per-student instead of the current arrangement where some pay more than others depending upon the amount of subsidy their town generates.
The RSU’s Current Debt Load Source: RSU #1 Please note that this chart includes interest and does not include the new $5.2 million in voter-approved debt.
Why Doesn’t West Bath Receive Any Subsidy at All? Maine Law states that West Bath would have to be a minimum or special education reimbursement receiver during the year immediately preceding consolidation – (July 1 st, 2007-June 30 th, 2008) – West Bath received regular subsidy – Because West Bath was not a minimum receiver or a special education reimbursement receiver during the FY 2008 year, we will never qualify – DOE is assisting us in estimating the amount we will receive if we withdraw
How Does Withdrawal Work? State law has set the rule on this: Title 20-A Section 1466 – 22-Step Process Simplified-whole process is on www.westbath.org – 1. Petition begins the process – 2. Public Hearing today and January 21 st Vote Fire Station 9:00 AM-8:00 PM – If vote is positive a four-person withdrawal committee is formed (selectman, public, petitioner, RSU #1 board member)
How Does Withdrawal Work? (Continued) Negotiate with RSU #1 for withdrawal and creation of future of education for West Bath – The State Department of Education is Involved Throughout the Process Once negotiations are complete, the Department of Education Commissioner calls an election to approve/disapprove of the final withdrawal plan
Important Facts on the Second Vote If before January 1 st, 2015: – Half of the people that voted in the last gubernatorial election MUST participate (538) – Half plus one of those people must vote to withdraw If after January 1 st, 2015 – No minimum number of voters – Two-thirds of voters MUST vote to withdraw It is very important that West Bath residents vote in both elections-we want to hear your voice! Absentee ballots are available NOW through Thursday, January 16 th, 2014.
Frequently Asked Questions How much will this cost? Will my child continue to receive special education? Will my child be able to attend Morse High School? Will my child have transportation to school? Will West Bath School continue to exist?
For More Questions Please contact the Town Office 443-4342 Please attend Selectmen’s Meetings – Second and Fourth Mondays at 5:30 Please attend the Withdrawal Work Group – Meetings are scheduled as needed – Listed on www.westbath.orgwww.westbath.org Visit www.westbath.orgwww.westbath.org