More sides to AOS story

14 years ago

To the editor:
    In the Nov. 17 issue of the Pioneer Times, an article “AOS Plan Moves Forward” uses only one source. The information provided may not be correct and reads more like a communiqué, rather than a balanced story. It misrepresents the Danforth town newspaper, “The Community News” as a pamphlet. This is a great injustice to Diane Morse and her volunteers that publish a nice, informative paper.
    The SAD 70 and 14 boards have met twice. During these meetings it was asked if any had read the 15-page AOS statute? None had. From the statute, officials said consolidation would involve superintendents and office staff (part A and B of the law). But the plan is not the law. The law also has a part C, D, and E listed below.
    Sec. 5. 20-A MRSA §1461-B is enacted to read: § 1461-B. Alternative organizational structure 3. Submission, review and approval of plans for an alternative organizational structure. A school administrative unit may submit a reorganization plan to the commissioner to form an alternative organizational structure in order to comply with this chapter.
    (3) Adoption of a core curriculum and procedures for standardized testing and assessment aligned with the system of learning results established in section 6209;
    (4) Adoption of a plan for both consistent school policies and school calendars; and
    (5) Adoption of a plan for consistent collective bargaining agreements.
    Why do officials think they will not have to follow this? During the meetings it was suggested in a section about “leaving the AOS,” to remove getting permission of the Commissioner out of the plan. But, the statute says to leave the AOS after several years, you need the permission of the Commissioner of Education. Do voters think that the “plan” will be followed or the actual “law” for school consolidation?
    There are millions of dollars at stake and it would be advisable to report on all sides of this issue. It would be a service to your readers.
Bob Berta
    Editor’s note: Bob Berta has been a Maine educator since 1976. His views may or may not reflect the staff or management of SAD 14.