Fayette stands alone once again.
In a special election Tuesday, voters overwhelmingly said they want Fayette to operate its own independent school district, as the town did from 1994 to 2010.
Since 2010, Fayette has been part of Alternative Organizational Structure 97 with Winthrop. Fayette joined the AOS to avoid a penalty that would have cost the town most of its state school aid. With the penalty no longer in state law, some Fayette residents advocated withdrawal from the AOS to give the town full control over the education of its children.
Of the 175 voters who cast a ballet, a whopping 145 said they wanted to leave the AOS. Just 30 voted to remain tied to Winthrop.
The Fayette School Committee now has plenty of work ahead of it before July 1 to finalize a budget and replace the administrative functions the AOS has provided for both towns, including a superintendent and oversight of transportation, business management, special education and curriculum.
In some of those areas, Fayette may contract with Winthrop for services or hire personnel who have worked for the AOS. It probably will take a more intensive search to find a part-time superintendent.
State law requires all school districts to have a superintendent, so the committee must hire someone by July 1. Ideally, Chairman Richard Darling said, they’ll have someone in place by June 14 so that person can be present for Fayette’s Town Meeting on that date.
A rough administrative budget prepared before the vote included $14,850 for a superintendent, or $450 per day for 33 days a year. The total estimate came to $66,164, which is $8,432 more than Fayette is paying for its share of the AOS budget this year.