ANDOVER — The Board of Selectmen on Wednesday night appointed the first two members of a committee that will negotiate withdrawal from SAD 44.
SAD 44 director Mark Shraiberg and Selectman Susan Merrow were named by the board. They will be joined by a representative from On Our Own Committee and possibly others to be chosen next week. Residents interested in serving should contact the town office at 392-3302.
The On Our Own Committee will meet at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 25, at the Town Hall to discuss recommendations for a representative to the withdrawal committee.
Selectmen will meet at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 26, to make two appointments to the committee, and more if they decide they are needed, Merrow said in an email.
Residents voted 221-39 Tuesday to establish a committee to negotiate the town's withdrawal from SAD 44, which also includes Bethel, Greenwood, Newry and Woodstock. Andover has been a member for 40 years.
The town clerk is sending Tuesday's voting results to the commissioner of the Maine Department of Education and SAD 44 Superintendent David Murphy this week.
The withdrawal process also requires a report of how the town would provide education for children and approval from the DOE commissioner. Residents will eventually vote on whether to withdraw.
The move to get out of the district began after SAD 44 directors voted 13-3 in April 2011 to close the Andover Elementary School because of declining enrollment, the age of the schoolhouse and other efficiencies, saving the district about $214,000 a year.
The town was given the option of raising $214,000, in addition to its educational assessment, to keep its school open for the 2011-12 school year. A $68,000 payment was negotiated to keep it open this year, again, in addition to their approximate $400,000 assessment.
The Andover Elementary School houses about 30 students in grades kindergarten to five.