School Reorganization Status Update
(from Maine Townsman, December 2008)
By Jeffrey Austin and Kate Dufour
The July Maine Townsman presented information on the status of the school reorganization plans that were being developed across the state. This article updates that article with the results of the 21 reorganization plans that were presented to the voters in November and December.
Sixteen of twenty-two plans have been approved by the voters for a success rate of 73%. Those approved plans will consolidate 65 school administrative units into 16. The six plans that failed at the polls included 43 units.
Many of the units where the voters rejected consolidation are exploring options. Some are filing an “alternative” plan which is essentially equivalent to an exemption. Others are working on different consolidation plans. A few appear to have no intention to work further on the issue.
There are approximately 20 plans in over 128 communities that will definitely be conducting votes in January before statutory deadline of January 31. Some of the “non-compliant” or “voting no” communities in the table below may also conduct votes in January as well.
As the updated map clearly indicates there a geographic trend is emerging with respect to the consolidation law. Southern Maine is largely exempt from consolidation, Northern and Downeast Maine is not exempt and not supportive of consolidation; Central Maine is a very mixed-bag. Most of the remaining votes are in the Central to Northern Maine area.
We intend on producing another updated in the February Maine Townsman.
Status of School Reorganization Plans
Note: Island municipalities on the map appear as mainland municipalities
Note: The map depicts the vote of the entire RSU. In cases where a community voted in support of the RSU, but a majority of the voters within the RSU rejected the proposal, all of the communities are labeled as having rejected the RSU.