Franklin Countys First News

Rangeley-area school systems approve creation of new district

RANGELEY - The communities that make up School Union 37 have approved the creation of a new school district based around the Rangeley Lakes Area School, with the superintendent at Rangeley sending a modified version of the plan to the Department of Education today.

Rangeley residents voted overwhelmingly, 446 to 99, to move forward with the plan, which changes the multi-board school union to a more-centrally controlled school district. Dallas Plantation (149 to 37), Sandy River Plantation (48 to 21) and Magalloway Plantation (12 to 2) followed suit, approving the creation of a single school board to govern the administration of the twelve-grade facility in Rangeley.

Two communities did not approve the plan, with Lincoln Plantation (4 to 19) and Rangeley Plantation (39 to 60) voting to stand apart from the new district. This means those communities will not send representatives to the school board, but may instead tuition students to Rangeley school. 

The plan, which originally called for a 13-director school board, required that communities representing 75 percent of the student population and 80 percent of the district's financial support vote to approve the consolidation in order for the process to move forward.

Superintendent Brian Foster said that the next step was to contact DOE with the results of the vote, in order to get a reapportioned school board. The 13-director board assumed that Rangeley Plantation would send two directors and Lincoln Plantation would send one. The removal of those communities from the plan will change the makeup of the board.

"Now a lot of the work continues," Foster said. He noted that elections for the new board were scheduled to be held in January, so he's hoping to get the makeup of the reapportioned board back soon, so communities can be alerted if the number of directors they are sending has changed.

The plan is scheduled to go into effect on July 1, 2010. The district is below the minimum number of students allowed under the consolidation law, but School Union 37 was exempted from that requirement thanks to LD 467, passed earlier this year.

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