MOUNT VERNON — Some board members of Regional School Unit 38 want more information before voting on a restructuring plan next month.

At a meeting Wednesday night, they asked for more details on increased transportation costs, busing times, educational research regarding school configurations and teachers’ opinions about the proposal to separate the district’s four elementary schools into pre-K to grade two and grades three to five.

Those requests were frustrating to Superintendent Rich Abramson, who said it will be impossible to provide much of the additional information by the time the board is due to vote at their Jan 4 meeting.

“We’ve spent 14 months looking at every possible scenario,” Abramson said. “We’ve involved a lot of people, we’ve had two public forums with lots of people telling you how they feel, we’ve sought legal opinions. … We’ve given you the best effort.”

Many board members seemed set against the plan, Abramson said, adding that he is reluctant to ask staff to put in more work, especially with the holidays coming.

Manchester board member David Guillemette said that before voting on a plan he wants details such as how teachers and space would be reassigned.

Readfield board member Jennifer Lindquist asked to see a floor plan showing how Readfield Elementary School would accommodate all students in grades three through five. The plan would increase enrollment at the school from 181 to 232.

Multiple board members asked for an anonymous survey of teachers, and Mount Vernon board member Kerry Casey said maybe the plan should go to a public vote.

“To me, it’s more than a legal issue — it’s going against the trust of the communities,” she said. “And I do question whether the board wants to continue with that without going to a community vote.”

District residents have expressed widespread opposition to the restructuring plan — at both public forums, in written comments to the board and via an online petition with 132 signatures as of Thursday.

Some people have suggested the proposal would violate the consolidation plan that voters in all four towns approved in 2009.

Abramson said he has requested legal counsel on the question and should have an answer on Monday.

Mount Vernon board member John Harker suggested postponing the board’s January vote, but Readfield board member Steve Hayes said administrators need a decision as soon as possible to start budgeting their needs for next year.

Board members will never have perfect information, Hayes said.

“If you’re not satisfied by Jan. 4, vote against it,” he said. “It is possible to study things to death; bureaucracies are famous for it.”

Susan McMillan — 621-5645

[email protected]

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.