MONMOUTH — A group of Monmouth residents is making progress in researching the consequences of withdrawing from the school district, but is also facing tough questions as it prepares to release findings next month.

Ed Zuis, chairman of the volunteer Monmouth Fact Finding Committee, said the panel hopes to prepare a final report by Jan. 15 on different options for educating the town’s children.

“During the month of December the small committees will be reporting to the whole group,” Zuis told selectmen during Wednesday’s meeting. “This should give us a good idea of the final product.”

Selectmen, hoping to gather information on the town’s alternatives to remaining in Regional School Unit 2, appointed 11 people to the fact-finding group this summer. The group was tasked with gathering facts on remaining with RSU 2 — which also serves Dresden, Hallowell, Farmingdale and Richmond — or leaving the school district to pursue arrangements with other communities.

RSU 2 was formed in 2009 as a result of a state mandate to consolidate the number of school districts statewide.

The committee is looking at the impact the organizational options would have on education, finances and the community as a whole, Zuis said.

The committee has collected plenty of data, including budgets, state documents and drop out rates, and heard from representatives of other school districts and communities such as Winthrop and Fayette, which are joined in an Alternative Organizational Structure. That form of consolidation typically enables communities to maintain their own budgets while sharing some expenses such as a central office.

The fact-finding committee divided into three smaller groups that are looking at three areas: children, curriculum and finance.

Despite their efforts to gather information, there many unanswered questions and will require speculation, Zuis said.

“Many questions are difficult to answer because there is no precedent,” he said.

The answers to other questions will change as state legislators tweak and alter the law that led to school consolidation. He said it has been difficult to gather information without forming opinions.

“It’s research for research’s sake,” he said.

Selectman Harold Jones agreed the committee had been given a difficult task.

“That type of thing is a tremendous challenge,” Jones said. “I applaud your effort.”

Craig Crosby–621-5642

[email protected]


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.