BUXTON — The School Administrative District 6 Board of Directors is encouraging Standish residents to vote in a special town meeting Tuesday on whether to explore the possibility of withdrawing from the district.
Board members said at a meeting Monday that rumors and misinformation about Standish’s possible withdrawal are starting to seep through the district, known as Bonny Eagle.
“There’s a lot of concern about what’s going on,” said Daniel Kasprzyk, a board member representing Standish.
At the special town meeting in Standish on Tuesday, voters will decide whether to spend $25,000 to hire consultants to do a six-month study of the feasibility of withdrawing from the district.
Kaspryzk said he’s heard people say the town plans to withdraw by the fall of 2015. He said teachers are worried about their jobs, and he’s concerned about hiring new staff and negotiating union contracts.
“It’s beyond just a rumor. It’s something that the town is indicating they’re planning to do,” he said.
Board member Larry Miller pointed out that no one has the authority to make that decision and that the town would have to go through a long, public process before it could withdraw.
“It think it’s very unlikely it’s actually going to happen, personally,” said Miller, who represents Buxton.
Jacob Stoddard, another board member from Buxton, said, from what he’s seen in other districts, being able to withdraw by 2015 would be “wishful, wishful thinking.”
Standish town councilors started considering withdrawal after a disagreement with school board members about how unanticipated state funds were spent.
The consultants under consideration for hire are former Maine superintendents, Ray Poulin and Norm Higgins, who worked with the town of Wiscasset, which voted in November to withdraw from Regional School Unit 12.
Formed in 1959, Bonny Eagle is one of the state’s oldest consolidated school districts and is currently the largest regional district, with 3,777 students, more than 600 employees and an annual budget of about $45 million.
Standish has 1,382 students in Bonny Eagle schools, making it the largest town in the district, followed by Buxton, Hollis and Limington. Frye Island, which is looking at withdrawing from the district with Standish, is a summer community and sends no students to public schools.
Standish board member Todd Delaney apologized to the high school boys’ basketball team, which has a game against Portland High School at St. Joseph’s College on Tuesday, at the same time as the 7 p.m. town meeting in the Standish Municipal building.
“We’re going to ask people to go to something because it’s important,” he said, encouraging Standish residents to attend the game after voting.
Leslie Bridgers can be contacted at 791-6364 or at: