New Bath-area RSU continues assault on school choice

New Bath-area RSU continues assault on school choice

February 13, 2008 Posted by Steve Bowen - No Comments

Followers of school reorganization developments may remember that last fall we expressed a great deal of concern that school choice was lost for families in the four School Union 47 towns that voted to join with Bath to form the state’s first Regional School Unit.
Now one of the towns that joined the RSU, Arrowsic, is in something of a bind because is used to send some of its students to the school in Georgetown, but is evidently being forbidden from continuing to do so by the RSU board.
One of the provisions of the agreement to form the Bath-area RSU was that students there would no longer be allowed a choice to attend schools outside the RSU. Georgetown voted against joining the RSU, is therefore not a part of it, and so Arrowsic parents may no longer choose to send their students there.
According to today’s Brunswick Times Record, efforts were evidently being made in Augusta to amend the law governing the Bath-area RSU so that Arrowsic families might still be allowed to choose the school in Georgetown, but the RSU board voted unanimously “not to endorse” the proposed change.
Indeed, the Bath RSU board is so adamant that school choice be eliminated that the bill they put forward, LD 2028, contains the following provision, which would limit school choice in any school district that joins the Bath RSU in the future:
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the [RSU], in order to offer consistent options to all of its students, may opt to limit school choice for students of municipalities that join the [RSU] after its initial date of consolidation, even if the municipality offered choice prior to the municipality’s joining the [RSU].
In short, they want to take choice away from districts that are not even part of their RSU yet!
One hopes a choice-supporting legislator will draft an amendment to LD 2028 ensuring that ALL students in RSU 1 have a choice of schools, as many of them did before last fall’s vote.