LISBON – After months of making little progress in complying with the state’s school consolidation law, the School Department has been given the OK by the state to proceed as a “stand-alone district,” according to Superintendent Shannon Welsh.

“We will remain the Lisbon School Department and the Lisbon Greyhounds,” she said.

Welsh said she received a call from the state Department of Education late last week telling her of the decision and received written confirmation Monday.

Lisbon had approached Union 44, Lewiston-Auburn and the Durham school departments, none of whom were interested in consolidating with them.

Lisbon most recently worked closely with SAD 75 for several months, established a Reorganization Planning Committee, and held several joint meetings to discuss consolidation, but eventually that fell through, too.

Lisbon has about 1,400 students, which falls below the number to qualify as a stand-alone district, but was given special approval as it had exhausted its options for consolidation.

Now, with the go-ahead from the state to move forward as its own district, Welsh said Lisbon will work to cut costs.

“We will explore cost-savings by working with area school systems and towns to reduce special education costs, transportation, maintenance and system administration costs,” she said, “and explore sharing transportation costs for special education students in the case of out-of-district placement.

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