Byron committee presents withdrawal proposal to RSU 10 board

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BUCKFIELD — Richard Allen, chairman of the Byron Withdrawal Committee, told Regional School Unit 10 directors Monday night that money is the reason the town wants to pull out of the 12-town district.

“As the smallest town in RSU 10, it would be cheaper to pay tuition to send kids to RSU 10,” he told the board. “It’s becoming a significant tax burden in Byron.”

Largely because of the state property valuation of the town, Byron taxpayers pay roughly twice what most other towns in the district are assessed. The total population is about 75, with 15 attending RSU 10 schools.

Allen said his town pays about $20,000 per student, or nearly $300,000. By withdrawing, he said that figure would be cut in half.

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RSU 10 towns are Buckfield, Hartford, Sumner, Canton, Peru, Dixfield, Carthage, Mexico, Rumford, Byron, Roxbury and Hanover.

RSU 10 Superintendent Craig King said Byron’s proposal is a starting point for discussions. Among the items in the proposal that will likely be discussed are the town’s desire to have RSU 10 provide transportation for Byron students, the amount of tuition that would be paid for each child and the town’s responsibility for the district’s outstanding indebtedness.

The proposal states that the New Byron School Administrative Unit would be responsible to provide education for students who attend schools outside RSU 10, the agreement would be for 10 years and special education students will be sent to RSU 10 schools.

Withdrawal plans have been ongoing for nearly two years.

The withdrawal agreement must be studied by the board and school administration before further action can be taken.

King said the board will likely appoint a subcommittee to study the components. It will be under discussion by the full board at the Nov. 10 meeting.

In other matters, the resignations of Darlene Fortin, a 35-year secretary at the Pennacook Learning Center, and Richard Duguay, a longtime custodian, were accepted. They are retiring.

Three special education teachers were hired, leaving just one position to be filled, Special Services director Clarissa Fish said. Hired were Norma Jean Senechal at Meroby Elementary School, Daniel Kiley, a Mountain Valley High School graduate, at Dirigo High School, and Andrea Angotti, a 17-year veteran as a special education technician in the district, at Hartford-Sumner Elementary School.

Fish said six special education teaching positions were open at the beginning of the school year.

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