RANGELEY — The School Board voted Tuesday to accept transfer of the school property deed from the town.
Superintendent Brian Foster and board Chairman Pam Ellis were at the Jan. 15 selectmen’s meeting when the board, with one member absent, voted 3-1 for the transfer. Foster said he had received a copy of the signed deed. As soon as the board approved the transfer, he would follow up by filing it with the county, he said.
Foster reported on the recent meeting with superintendents in Portland, where the governor’s proposed budget was discussed. The state’s last subsidy payment, scheduled for June, has been pushed into the new fiscal year in July, which Foster described as an accounting gimmick that postpones a $13 million payment to schools statewide. He urged the board not to lose sight of the payment because of the delay.
According to Foster, the revenue-sharing proposal for towns will be cut next year, and the governor proposes that 2.65 percent of Maine state teacher retirement costs be pushed onto local schools. At first glance that would require Rangeley to provide about $40,000.
Added to the governor’s proposal for curtailment, which would cost the Rangeley school $15,000, it looks to add up to a $27 million cut for education statewide.
Foster provided contact information for state legislators, and predicted “interesting” discussions when the proposals reach the Legislature.
Middle School teacher Lucy Simonds spoke in favor of an overnight trip for the Outing Club to the Poplar Stream Hut in Carrabassett Valley on March 8 and 9. The trip requires a 2½-mile snowshoe trek to the hut.
Hikers must carry sleeping bags and clothing, but will not need food, stoves or fuel, which are provided by the hut. Simonds said the current roster has three adults and 13 students. The board voted unanimously to approve the trip.
The Policy Committee reported that bullying policy forms for schools have changed, and they have just received a sample policy from the state Department of Education.
The recently-formed Organizational Structure Study Committee presented its first report. It contained 13 bullet points agreed upon by consensus. The points support a full-time nurse, a full-time guidance counselor, and a person responsible for curriculum coordination; the superintendent’s schedule should be bumped from three days to four if curriculum coordination is added to his duties. Noting the need to be fiscally responsible, the committee recognized that money should be spent where it impacts students the most.
The evening ended with discussion of advertising for the position of superintendent. Foster is retiring from the position at the end of the school year.