Voters line up Tuesday to cast ballots at Richmond Middle & High School. Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal

RICHMOND — At the end of the school year, Richmond will form its own school district.

Residents voted 1,144 to 539 during Tuesday’s election to approve an agreement to withdraw from Regional School Unit 2, effective July 1, according to unofficial results.

The decision comes two years — and one failed vote — after efforts began in Richmond to withdraw from the district that also serves Dresden, Farmingdale, Hallowell and Monmouth.

“It’s an exciting time for Richmond,” said Amanda McDaniel, chair of the Richmond withdrawal committee.

The new municipal district will include Marcia Buker Elementary School and Richmond Middle & High School.

McDaniel said school board meetings will be held in town and will be “easily accessible for all.” By forming a separate district, the town and future board will have an “opportunity to hone in on challenges” that Richmond schools have faced, she said.


“Through both a physically local school board and our increasing activities from the Richmond Recreation Department, our town will have a huge chance to reestablish the sense of community it experienced in the past,” McDaniel said. “Bobcat Pride is palpable. We have so much to be proud of here.”

Teachers and staff members who work in Richmond schools will continue to be employed at those schools, according to the agreement.

The central office staff of RSU 2 — including the superintendent, assistant superintendent, business manager and other similar positions — will remain with the multi-town district, and Richmond will need to hire its own administrators.

Stephanie Saltzman, the business manager at RSU 2, said the remaining towns in RSU 2 are not expected to see substantial changes to the amount of money they must raise from taxpayers as a result of the withdrawal. 

“Richmond, just starting out, would take their expenses and would come close to what they already contribute,” she said at an RSU 2 board of directors meeting Nov. 3. “It’s not going to be significant, but definitely something we have to consider.” 

The budget for RSU 2 does not “look a whole lot different” without Richmond in the picture, she added. 


It will take about six months, Saltzman said, to come up with new budgets for the two districts. RSU 2 will have to count staff members and make sure they are accounted for. It will also reconfigure its budget after it finds out how much money the state will contribute, based on the state education funding formula that’s due to come out in mid-January.

The funding formula is a tool the state uses to decide how much money the state will contribute to a given school district’s budget. It is updated four times throughout the year and takes into consideration a district’s enrollment rate, among other factors.  

Richmond’s enrollment is the third-highest in the district, according to data from RSU 2. The town has 450 students who attend the local public schools. Monmouth enrolls the largest amount of students in RSU 2, at 611, followed by Farmingdale, at 483. 

Last year, taxpayers in Richmond paid $2,219,506 for its local contribution to the RSU 2 budget. By comparison, Monmouth paid $3,280,316 and Dresden, which enrolls the fewest students, paid $1,222,841.

With the new Richmond school district, taxpayers are estimated by the town’s withdrawal committee to pay $2,069,176 for the first year of the district. The local contributions do not include the so-called “local additional” part of the budget, which is up to the school district to decide based on the additional items they want to pay for that the state will not fund.  

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