LEWISTON — The School Committee voted Monday to adopt a resolution to send to the Maine School Boards Association on a new state law requiring districts to form regional service centers.

The committee voted to have member Francis Gagnon present the resolution to the association’s assembly Oct. 27 for adoption. 

The resolution would propose that the association and its member school boards communicate with legislators, the governor’s office and the Department of Education their serious concerns about implementation of regional service centers. 

The motion would include that, if the law is to remain in place, it should be amended to base the per pupil penalties on the level of the school unit’s efficiencies, extend the timeline for implementation  and simplify the implementation process. 

The law, which was passed as part of the state budget in July, requires school districts to consolidate services or lose thousands of dollars in state money for education. Districts must come up with programs or services that can be shared. The combined programs would need to be approved by the Maine Department of Education and by local voters.

Districts that fail to regionalize will not receive the targeted allocation of $46 per student from the state for 2018-19 and $94 per student in 2019-20. 

For Lewiston, that would be a loss around $700,000, according to Superintendent Bill Webster. 

In Webster’s September monthly report, he stated that he did not believe Lewiston would see any savings with the initiative. 

“Rather, we see another layer of bureaucracy that will likely increase costs,” he said. 


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