PARIS — The School Administrative District 17 board of directors Monday evening gave Director Barry Patrie the go-ahead to act on Maine School Boards Association constitution changes and resolutions that include extending the school year and raising the minimum salary for teachers.

Patrie was elected Oct. 1 to be a delegate the the association’s convention Oct. 25 in Augusta. Director Curtis Cole will be an alternate and also attend. Board Chairwoman Diane Olsen will also attend.

The association represents and supports local school board members who are charged with providing all students in Maine with a comprehensive education.

This year, the association will consider resolutions to:

• Increase the number of instructional days from 175 to 180;

• Lowering the compulsory attendance age from 7 to 6;


• Increased state funding to raise the starting salary for a teacher to $40,000; and

• Support the eventual move of programs for 3- to 5-year-olds into public schools if they are “well planned” and appropriately funded by the state.

Directors had differing opinions on raising starting salaries for teachers.

Director Bob Jewell said his concern included the ramifications on retirement liability for the district. He urged Patrie to propose an amendment that would require teachers to become state employees.

Some expressed concern about the resolution to lengthen the school year.

Student representative Catrina Wilson said it is tough enough to make up snow days that can be frequent in Maine, in addition to extending the school year.


Others agreed saying summer is short enough in Maine.

In other business, the board approved:

• Superintendent Rick Colpitts’ nomination of Robert Sellers as a 38-week night custodian at Oxford Elementary School;

• The second and final reading of the Child Find policy that uses multiple factors to determine a child’s academic and functional performance and other skills. If indicated, an Individual Education Program team will evaluate the student for special education and supportive services;

• The Finance Committee’s recommendation for a lease-purchase agreement for two handicapped accessible school buses for $127,414, or a $43,165 annual payment for three years at 3.71 percent interest; and

• The recommendation of the Finance Committee for a $143,213, 10-year agreement to pay $17,252 annually at 4.17 percent interest for a propane boiler at the Harrison Elementary School. The offer includes a three-year maintenance plan and the removal of the underground tanks.

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