BRIGHTON PLANTATION — Residents will vote Tuesday on whether to leave the local school district.

The town of Athens withdrew earlier this month, leaving Brighton Plantation and Madison the only communities in Madison-based School Administrative District 59.

The departure of Brighton Plantation would mean that since 2012, three of the four communities in the district have left. The town of Starks was the first to withdraw in January 2012.

For Brighton, the withdrawal means the community would become its own school district with a choice of area schools for students to attend on a tuitioned basis, said Brighton Plantation Withdrawal Committee Chairwoman Christine Morgan.

She said the community would likely send young students to Athens Elementary School, where most pre-kindergarten through grade eight students are currently sent while enrolled in the Madison-based district.

High school students could attend any school of their choice, although the board of the new district would decide to what schools transportation is provided. Morgan said that right now the committee is considering providing transportation to Carrabec High School, Dexter Regional High School, Madison Memorial High School and Skowhegan Area High School.

In February Brighton Plantation concluded negotiations with the Madison-based district, and the Department of Education approved a plan for withdrawal. Under that plan, Brighton Plantation would be responsible for paying two percent of the school district’s outstanding debt, because it contributes two percent of the district’s income.

The plan must win the approval of two-thirds of the referendum voters to take effect, according to Department of Education guidelines for withdrawal.

Morgan said that if it is approved, the next steps for the community would be to elect a school board and come up with a budget.

In the current school year, Brighton Plantation contributed $118,922 in locally raised money to the district budget. State funding based on Brighton Plantation’s total property valuation contributed two percent of the money the district receives from the state.

According to the Madison Town Office, SAD 59 has a student enrollment of 929 students, including 170 students from Athens. Brighton Plantation enrolls about six to eight students in the district every year.

Voting will take place at the Town Office from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Rachel Ohm — 612-2368
[email protected]

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