School board rejects St. George plea to remain K-8
Rockland — The Regional School Unit 13 school board on May 3 voted 7-4 to have the St. George eighth grade join peers at Oceanside West in September.
Board member Brian Messing, who voted for the measure, said he felt the issue needed to "be put to bed" and said last year's one-year moratorium agreement should be followed. He further cited concern over cost impacts of school choice for his vote.
Messing said the cost of keeping St. George eighth-graders in the K-8 system is roughly $50,000, which the community raised last year to fund the additional year. Messing added there was additional money that was not accounted for, an estimated $15,000 since the cost was actually over the expected $50,000 amount.
Voting to support school choice was Don Choquette of St. George, George Emery of St. George, Carol Bachofner of Rockland and Eric Schenk of South Thomaston.
Bachofner said she had originally been opposed to the moratorium because of socialization concerns, but after further discussion and thought, believed students would acclimate just as well the following year. Choquette agreed and added that the St. George School was being underutilized.
Bill Reinhardt, a St. George selectman, addressed the board and said the K-8 choice is a vitally important issue to the community. He asked the board to support school choice when it makes sense financially.