MEXICO – Region 9 vocational school officials aren’t sure where the monthly bills will be sent once the newly formed Western Foothills School District begins operating July 1.

That’s because two of the School of Applied Technology’s sending districts – SAD 21 and SAD 43 – will be dissolved when the new school district takes over governance. Hanover also becomes a part of the new district.

“Something will need to be done, but we’re not sure what yet,” said Region 9 board Chairman Norman Clanton at Tuesday night’s meeting.

One thing that will need adjustment is the vocational school’s cooperative agreement with SAD 21, SAD 44, SAD 43, Hanover and the unaffiliated towns of Gilead and Upton.

Clanton believes the funding formula will likely not change, but how it is figured will. SAD 44, based in Bethel, is not a part of the newly formed district, and has not yet partnered with any other school unit.

Added to the mix is the new district’s other member, SAD 39, based in Buckfield, which sends its vocational students to Region 11 at Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School in Paris.

“The funding formula for each sending district may not change, but the representation on the (Region 9) board will,” Clanton said. “Region 9 ought to have input on who serves on the cooperative board.”

Now, each of the current sending districts appoints representatives to the Region 9 board who are often members of their respective school boards.

One of SAD 43’s Region 9 board members from Mexico, Randy Canwell, suggested that vocational board members be elected, just as those in SAD 43, SAD 21, SAD 44 and SAD 39 are, as well as the newly elected regional school board.

The cooperative agreement is reviewed, adjusted if necessary, then adopted each year by the sending school districts. Among its purposes is the outline for the amount of funding each district must pay to provide vocational education for their students.

Region 9 Adult Education Director Nancy Allen said the adult and community education agreement will also be affected by the formation of the regional school system because of the town of Hanover’s change of status.

If SAD 44 should find a partner, then the cooperative agreement will have to be modified again, Clanton said.


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