School board rejects St. George plea to remain K-8

By Juliette Laaka | May 04, 2012

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.

Comments (3)
Posted by: sharon setz | May 05, 2012 09:03

this entire consolodation has been one disaster after the next...all amid glowing media coverage of its "success". the price we will pay for this ignorance will not be measurable for years to come. My child is grown but if I had young children  in this area, I would remove them from this system. Just like Dr. Schenk did.

Posted by: Landon McGuire | May 04, 2012 20:16

Does this mean the fifth graders from Owls Head School will be sent to RDMS as previously planned, or does the moratorium stay in effect for them?

Posted by: Robert Jean | May 04, 2012 17:47

With all due respect...

I  don't understand why it is intimidating to some Board members to allow a choice for  St. George families, and an opportunity for other 8th graders in the RSU,  to learn in a setting that may be a better alternative for them. I agree with Mr. Reinhardt that this was a win-win proposal.

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