State review next step in RSU 24 withdrawal proposals

ELLSWORTH — Three communities debating withdrawal from Regional School Unit 24 (RSU 24) have completed negotiations with the RSU board.

The next step is a review of the municipalities’ plans by Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen followed by a public hearing and then a vote by local residents.

The plans include everything from distribution of assets and commitments to provisions for educating and transporting students.

RSU 24, which has been in existence for three years, includes 12 municipalities: Ellsworth, Eastbrook, Franklin, Gouldsboro, Hancock, Lamoine, Mariaville, Sorrento, Steuben, Sullivan, Waltham and Winter Harbor.

Residents who support withdrawing from the consolidated school district say they want to return to local control over their school’s budget and curriculum.

Ellsworth and the RSU 24 Board signed off on Ellsworth’s withdrawal proposal March 21 and then delivered it to the commissioner’s office.

Hancock and Lamoine finalized their plans with the RSU board March 26 and planned to forward their proposals to the commissioner.

Ellsworth has not yet set a date for when the issue will be taken before voters.

Hancock and Lamoine have said they are hoping to schedule their vote on the same day — June 11.

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Jacqueline Weaver

Jacqueline Weaver

Reporter at The Ellsworth American
Jacqueline's beat covers the eastern Hancock County towns of Lamoine through Gouldsboro as well as Steuben in Washington County. She was a reporter for the New York Times, United Press International and Reuters before moving to Maine. She also publicized medical research at Yale School of Medicine and scientific findings at Yale University for nine years.[email protected]
Jacqueline Weaver

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