FREEPORT – The board of Regional School Unit 5 voted 11-0 Wednesday night to approve an agreement that would allow the town of Freeport to withdraw from the school district.

Nelson Larkins of Freeport, chairman of the RSU 5 board of directors, said the agreement now goes to the Maine Department of Education. If the plan is approved by the state, Freeport voters will likely be asked to decide in November whether to withdraw from the unit that was formed in 2009 with the towns of Durham and Pownal.

The agreement would limit the ability of Pownal and Durham to send future students to the district’s current high school in Freeport, but would guarantee students access to Brunswick High School. Last year, 515 students attended Freeport High School with 326 from Freeport, 131 from Durham and 58 from Pownal.

The Brunswick School Board is scheduled to vote on the plan Aug. 13. Pownal, which doesn’t have its own middle school, would be allowed to send students to Freeport Middle School under the arrangement.

Larkins said more than 75 residents attended Wednesday night’s meeting. A public comment period lasted for nearly two hours before board members were able to begin their deliberations.

The proposal was put together by the Freeport Withdrawal Committee, which was formed after majority of Freeport voters in December supported taking a look at leaving the school district.

Freeport residents started talking about withdrawing from the district after a $17 million renovation plan for Freeport High School failed at the polls last year. Durham and Pownal residents didn’t want to spend the money, especially because their property taxes were expected to go up.

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