RANGELEY PLANTATION — Residents voted 54-4 Tuesday to approve a plan to consolidate with Regional School Unit 78, Rangeley Plantation Superintendent Sue Pratt said Wednesday.

The RSU 78 board will meet at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 3, at the Rangeley school to sign warrants to put the consolidation plan before voters in Rangeley and the plantations of Dallas, Magalloway and Sandy River, which are already in the regional school district, RSU 78 Superintendent Brian Foster said.

A referendum will be held in those towns Tuesday, March 15. An informational hearing on the plan will be held Tuesday, March 8. Times will be announced at a later date, Foster said.

Voters in Rangeley and Dallas and Sandy River plantations in Franklin County, and Magalloway Plantation in Oxford County approved reorganizing the former School Union 37 into RSU 78 in November 2009.

Rangeley Plantation voters in Franklin County and Lincoln Plantation residents in Oxford County rejected consolidation at that time. They opted to remain independent school systems and pay tuition to send students to school.

Pratt, who serves as a part-time superintendent in Rangeley Plantation, worked with Foster and members of a reorganization planning committee to rework the plan approved in 2009 to develop a new plan to include Rangeley Plantation, they both said.

Pratt is also superintendent of RSU 36 in Livermore and Livermore Falls.

Under the existing consolidation plan, the RSU 78 board is made up of 10 members: five from Rangeley, two each from Dallas and Sandy River plantations, and one from Magalloway.

Under the proposed plan, it would become a 12-member board with the addition of two members from Rangeley Plantation.

The votes currently are weighted and will be under the new plan, Foster said, but so far he has not had to do calculations to see if a motion passes.

Rangeley Plantation has also agreed to pay its share of start up costs for RSU 78, just as the other towns did in 2010, Foster said.

The towns will split the cost sharing on the local additional money that is above the state funding formula to run the school system, on a per pupil basis, Pratt said.

The budget that does meet the state’s formula will be funded by each town’s state allocation and required local match to get that funding.

Rangeley Plantation has 16 students.

All of the plantations still will have school choice, Pratt said.

The cost savings the first year is estimated to be $13,000, which includes eliminating Pratt’s position.

Both superintendents said they were pleased with Rangeley Plantation’s vote.

“I know our board is looking forward to the combining of the systems,” Pratt said. “It really is the right thing for the students of Rangeley Plantation.”

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