RSU 3 approves 'school of record' agreement with Palermo

By Ben Holbrook | Feb 15, 2014
Source: File Image

Thorndike — Regional School Unit 3 board members approved an agreement with Palermo to serve as its “school of record" for at least a decade that is contingent upon the town's successful withdrawal.

Over the past several months, Palermo officials have worked with RSU 3 to draft language to allow the district to serve as the “school of record” for the town. Superintendent Heather Perry previously told The Republican Journal the town must provide documentation to the state that the town has a public school of record that would accept its students.

Palermo is in the process of withdrawing from Regional School Unit 12, which includes the towns of lna, Chelsea, Somerville, Westport Island, Whitefield, Windsor and Wiscasset. Perry said Wiscasset has served as Palermo's “school of record” in the past, despite the fact the majority of the students in the town attend school at Erskine Academy.

Even with approval of the agreement to serve as the “school of record,” RSU taxpayers will not be responsible for paying the additional costs of educating Palermo's students. Perry previously said the town would be responsible for all costs associated with educating its students.

According to a draft agreement between RSU 3 and the town of Palermo provided by Perry, students in grades 9-12 in Palermo will be able to attend Mount View High School. Per the agreement, Palermo will pay tuition for each student attending the high school, as well as all transportation and special education costs.

Perry said RSU 3's tuition rate is $11,200 per high school student.

The agreement also calls for Palermo to pay a portion of the debt service for any new construction at the high school after the effective date of the town's withdrawal. The amount the town will pay will not exceed 10 percent of the tuition rate, and will be proportional to the cost of the construction project and to the number of tuition Palermo students who attend Mount View High School, according to the draft agreement.

Perry said she does not anticipate a significant influx from Palermo, but the district would be able to accommodate the majority of students in the town if they wished to attend Mount View High School.

The agreement will remain in effect for 10 years unless the district and the town choose to terminate it earlier.

Board members approved the agreement by a vote of 8-2, Perry said.

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Ben Holbrook
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Ben Holbrook is a reporter for The Republican Journal covering general news.

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