OTIS — After two and a half years of at times bitter division, the town has decided, once and for all, not to join Regional School Unit 24 (RSU 24).
The Otis School Committee, which oversees Beech Hill School, voted 2-1 on June 2 to reverse its decision to seek inclusion with RSU 24.
The balance tipped with the recent election of a new School Committee member.
Chairman Kim Steinbarger cast the lone vote to join the RSU. Minutes later she read a statement in which she resigned after five years on the committee.
“I feel that recent votes by the town and the School Committee support continued chaos, poor morale, shrinking student enrollment, reduced job stability, meager program offerings and substandard education in every way,” Steinbarger said.
“I cannot participate in the destruction of this fine school and the condemnation of our children to a third rate education, which will leave them woefully unprepared for the realities of the world at large,” she said, her voice at times breaking.
One parent, Jim Dunn, said he was sorry Steinbarger was resigning.
“I personally choose to look at things in a more positive light,” said Dunn. “We could be the envy of every town in the area.”
The town voted Dec. 9, 2008, not to join RSU 24, which includes some 2,600 students in Eastbrook, Ellsworth, Franklin, Gouldsboro, Hancock, Lamoine, Mariaville, Sorrento, Steuben, Sullivan, Waltham and Winter Harbor.
A second vote yielded the same result.
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