COMMITTEE RECOMMENDS MADISON JOIN SAU 9

by Christian Mower on December 1, 2011

A SPECIAL COMMITTEE IN MADISON IS RECOMMENDING MADISON SCHOOLS LEAVE SAU 13 AND TRY TO RE-JOIN SAU 9.

THE FINAL DRAFT REPORT OF THE MADISON SCHOOL DISTRICT SAU 13 WITHDRAWAL STUDY COMMITTEE INDICATES THE COMMITTEE’S VOTE WAS 5-2 AND CONCLUSION WAS DRIVEN PRIMARILY BY FINANCIAL CONCERNS, INCLUDING THE SENSE THERE WOULD BE SIGNIFICANT COST SAVINGS TO MADISON TAXPAYERS IN JOINING SAU 9 – AND PROBABLY SOME EDUCATIONAL ADVANTAGE AS WELL, INCLUDING THE POSSIBLE IMPROVEMENT OF TEST SCORES.

THE COMMITTEE WILL PRESENT THE FINDINGS OF ITS REPORT THURSDAY AT 6:30 P.M. TO SAU 9 BOARD MEMBERS AT A PUBLIC MEETING AT KENNETT MIDDLE SCHOOL IN CONWAY.

THE FINAL DRAFT OF THE REPORT INDICATES COMMITTEE MEMBERS BELIEVE FUNDING CHALLENGES OF THE SMALLER SAU 13 WILL NOT ALLOW FOR THE HIRING AND RETENTION OF ENOUGH HIGH QUALITY STAFF TO FUNCTION AT THE LEVEL SAU 9 DOES – AND NOTES WHILE SAU 13 HAS EXPERIENCED RAPID COST INCREASES, THE STAFF AT SAU 9 HAS DONE A GOOD JOB OF CONTROLLING ITS COSTS.

THE COMMITTEE REACHED ITS CONCLUSIONS AFTER MONTHS OF MEETINGS, ANALYSIS, DELIBERATION AND INTERVIEWS – INCLUDING DISCUSSIONS WITH LONGTIME SAU 9 SUP. DR. CARL NELSON.

NELSON SAYS A PUBLIC HEARING ON THE PLAN WILL BE HELD THURSDAY, DEC. 8 AT THE REGULAR SAU 9 BOARD MEETING.

THE PROPOSED CHANGE IS SUBJECT TO APPROVAL BY MADISON VOTERS – AND HAS TO GO THROUGH A NUMBER OF OTHER STEPS, INCLUDING SUBMISSION TO THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION FOR COMMENT – AND BE APPROVED BY VOTERS IN THE TOWNS THAT MAKE UP SAU 9  (CONWAY, BARTLETT, JACKSON, EATON, HARTS LOCATION, ALBANY AND CHATHAM).

SAU 13 WAS FORMED IN 1991 WHEN THE TOWNS OF FREEDOM, MADISON AND TAMWORTH WITHDREW FROM SAU 9.