DAVID CRUMP submits his ballot at the polls at the West Bath Fire Department on Tuesday.

DAVID CRUMP submits his ballot at the polls at the West Bath Fire Department on Tuesday.

Begin process to leave RSU 1


By the narrowest of margins, West Bath had enough people turn out to vote on a referendum to withdraw from RSU 1 for it to be valid — the outcome of the vote, however, was not so close.

By nearly a 5-to-1 margin, West Bath voters chose withdrawal, with 468 voting in favor of leaving the regional school unit, to 97 opposed. The total of 565 voters was just five more than were needed to make the vote valid.

According to West Bath Town Administrator Adam Garland, the Board of Selectmen has appointed a school transition committee, which will now be meeting to start forming the organization of a school district such as determining a school board and budgets. The next vote awaiting West Bath voters now is a vote on school board members. Garland expected the school transition committee to meet as soon as next week and said those meetings will be posted on the town’s website.

According to the withdrawal agreement, which was approved by the Maine Department of Education on Nov. 18, RSU 1 has agreed to have Bath Middle School and Morse High School serve as the schools of guaranteed acceptance for all West Bath middle and high school students for a period of 10 years following withdrawal.

West Bath agreed to pay tuition for the actual number of West Bath students in grades 6 to 12 who are attending RSU 1 schools, or for 75 percent of the total number of West Bath students in those grades attending public schools, whichever is greater.

Contention arose between the Withdrawal Committee and RSU 1 Work Group over the future of RSU 1 school choice students currently in attendance at the West Bath elementary school, but this was resolved with a reciprocal tuition agreement applicable to grandfathered students.

Next year, school officials estimate that there will be approximately 32 school choice students at West Bath School. This number would decrease year after year as grandfathered students matriculate to Bath Middle School.

To see the complete withdrawal agreement, visit the town of West Bath website at www.westbath.govoffice.com or the RSU 1 website at www.rsu1.org.

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: