RSU 73 not ready to join cost-sharing group


LIVERMORE FALLS — Recent passage of a state law requiring school districts to share services or lose education funding has frustrated RSU 73 officials.

At Thursday’s board of directors meeting, Superintendent Kenneth Healey noted that six surrounding school districts had voted to form the Western Maine Regional Service Center. They are looking to save money on bulk food purchases, substitute teacher calling and training, and combining some special education services.

The law stipulates that Maine school districts must declare their intent to join a regional service center by Nov. 30. However, even with the loss of funding for noncompliance with the law, Healey cautioned the RSU 73 board against joining the Western Maine group.

“I’m still leery about the whole process of jumping in, because they still do not have a decent exit strategy,” he said. “I still think there’s likely legislation that will happen that will alter or change the dynamics of regionalization.”

In other matters, Facilities and Transportation Director Ken Vining was concerned about a water leak at Spruce Mountain Elementary School in Jay that was discovered under the floor Oct. 26.

Although RSU 73 schools and grounds didn’t suffer significant damage from a rain and windstorm Oct. 29-30, “the pipes are really getting decayed up there,” he said. “You can only have so many leaks and so many holes in pipes.”

At the final home football game of the season at Griffin Field in Livermore Falls, in the midst of fixing an electrical problem, Vining discovered a piece of history. The monument to the field’s namesake, educator Stephen A. Griffin, was off-kilter and covered with brush.

Vining said he cleared the brush from around it and straightened it, restoring it to its former glory.

“It’s funny how you find things unexpectedly,” he said.

In other business:

* Lunches have become more fun recently at Spruce Mountain Elementary School with students helping to serve food. Food Service Director Dora York said some students were even asking to eat school lunch instead of bringing it from home because their friends were servers.

* Literacy Volunteers will soon be offering literacy classes four times a week at Spruce Mountain Adult Education, program Director Robyn Raymond said.

“Our hope is we’ll be doing more active programming with children but also engaging adults about role modeling literacy in the homes,” she said.

• The board discussed a timeline for the 2018-19 budget process. The district budget meeting is set for April 5, 2018, followed by the budget validation referendum on April 24. 

• Directors scheduled the next school board meeting for 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 14 in the Cedar Street Conference Room.

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RSU 73 Superintendent’s Office. (File photo)