ATHENS — Plans for the town to leave the local school district are proceeding, with early May as a potential date for a vote on withdrawal.

On Tuesday a public hearing will be held for people to ask questions about the withdrawal agreement, which was given a first approval by the state earlier this month. The meeting is at 6:30 p.m. at the Madison Junior High School Library.

“Our goal now is to provide info to the public on the withdrawal plan that the school board and committee have come up with and to answer questions,” said Dan Viles, chairman of the Athens Withdrawal Committee.

The withdrawal committee has outlined a timeline for withdrawal from Madison-based School Administrative District 59 that they hope to finalize soon. The plan is to submit nominations for a new school board at the end of April and potentially vote on withdrawal on May 2.

Both Athens and nearby Brighton Plantation are planning to leave the school district after the towns voted on the issue last year and formed withdrawal committees according to the guidelines of the state Department of Education.

The town of Starks withdrew from SAD 59 in January 2012. If Athens and Brighton Plantation leave, the district would only serve Madison.

In January, both committees said they planned to withdraw before the start of the 2013-2014 school year and in February they finalized negotiations for withdrawal with the school district.

Brighton Plantation has also received a first approval of its withdrawal plan from the state and is working on a timeline with a goal of completing withdrawal before the start of a new school year, said Christie Morgan, chairwoman of the Brighton Plantation Withdrawal Committee. The committee will be holding a public hearing on April 9, she said.

“SAD 59 and the commissioner have been very accommodating and cooperative,” Morgan said. “It is thanks to them that we are able to go on with our plans.”

Rachel Ohm — 612-2368
[email protected]

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