BETHEL — The School Administrative District 44 board voted Tuesday night to accept a citizen petition calling for a committee to study the cost-sharing formula for the four district towns.

The petition, which contained nearly 300 signatures, was presented to Superintendent David Murphy last week. It was prompted by the board’s vote in February to not begin the process.

The committee will consist of three members each from Bethel, Greenwood, Newry and Woodstock. Selectmen in each town will appoint two members and the school board will appoint one.

The board chose Frank Del Duca of Bethel, Marcel Polak of Woodstock, David Barlett of Newry and Norman Milliard of Greenwood to serve on the committee.

Committee members will be write a ballot question to be presented to voters in either June or November.

It will be the third vote on whether to change the formula from strictly property valuation to one that also factors in student population.

The votes were held after Newry residents sought to withdraw from the district because they pay about $2.5 million of the $10 million annual budget and have about 24 of the 750 district students.

The first formula proposal defeated in November 2016 was based 90 percent on property valuation and 10 percent on population the first year, and an 85/15 split the following two  years.

The second formula proposal defeated in November 2017 was based on 95 percent valuation and 5 percent enrollment the first two years; a 90/10 split the next three years; an 88/12 split the next two years; and an 85/15 split in the eighth year.

In other business, Murphy said the last extended school day will be April 24. The district lengthened school days by an hour to make up storm days. the last student day will be June 19.

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