Fayette, Winthrop voters to decide on school administrative merger


FAYETTE — Voters here and in Winthrop have a chance Tuesday to decide if they want to adopt an alternative school organizational structure that would allow both communities to keep their schools, avoid state penalties and save taxpayers money.

The vote will be held May 4 from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the town office in Fayette and from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the town office in Winthrop.

The joint effort is proposed to avoid paying state penalties for not complying with the state’s school reorganization law and saving administrative costs.

If approved, the plan would go into effect July 1.

The proposal calls for the two school systems to have one central administrative business office while each maintaining its own local school board/committee with the power and duties remaining unchanged except for what is outlined in the agreement.

Winthrop Superintendent Stephen Cottrell is posed to supervise both systems with Fayette Superintendent Briane Coulthard taking on a business manager position for the systems and remaining principal of Fayette Central School. Both men work part time.

Fayette residents would also maintain their right to choose schools, allowed under an existing agreement, for students in grades six through 12.

There would be an alternative organizational structure board of directors made up of four representatives from the Winthrop school board and two representatives from the Fayette school board. They would meet two or three times a year. Votes would be weighted with each director from Fayette having 78 votes and each from Winthrop having 211 votes to count toward the final vote tally.

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