WINSLOW — The board representing Alternative Organizational Structure 92 voted unanimously at its meeting Wednesday evening to authorize the superintendent to create a plan to dissolve the AOS, which serves Winslow, Waterville and Vassalboro schools.

With this vote from the board, the question of whether to dissolve the district, which in turn would allow the communities to pursue restructuring their school governance as a regional service center, will go before voters in the spring.

There was little discussion before the vote, which was six in favor, with Vassalboro’s member, Kevin Levasseur, absent. Superintendent Eric Haley said after the vote that once the plan is complete, which probably will be by the end of December, there will be a special meeting of the AOS to approve the plan to dissolve the district. That plan will have to be available to the public for 45 days before voters can act on it.

The AOS will be holding a public meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday in the Winslow Junior High School auditorium to talk about the budget for next year, but the plan to dissolve the district also will be discussed further.

The new system that the district is pursuing in lieu of an AOS, a regional service center, is a school system structuring model being pushed by the state Department of Education. State officials say having local school systems regionalize and share some of their services should maximize efficiencies in districts. Some of the restructuring would include contracting out administrative works, such as tasks relating to payroll and accounts payable, to other regional service centers. Additionally, each service center will have an executive director, who could replace or double as a superintendent. Local school systems still could keep or hire superintendents, but their salary cost would have to be paid for completely by the local system without help from the state.

AOS 92 is looking to pursue a dissolution and restructuring as a service center in order to secure a reimbursement from the state for the cost of the district’s system administration. If districts don’t participate in regionalization, money districts receive to help pay for administrative costs will drop steadily each year until 2020-2021, which is when, Haley said in an interview Tuesday, that funding allocation will dry up and districts will have to pay their administrative costs on their own.


However, if districts decide to participate in regionalization, the reductions in funding allocations for the administration will cease, and the state in turn will give those participating districts more money for their administrative costs.

On top of that, the state also would pay 55 percent of the salary of the center’s executive director, as well as the full costs of the accounting, payroll and student information systems.

Waterville and Winslow’s respective school boards each voted previously to authorize the superintendent to create a plan to dissolve the district. Vassalboro is scheduled to vote on the motion at its meeting on Dec. 19. However, since the AOS voted to go forward with the plan, the question will go to voters regardless of how Vassalboro’s board votes.

The board is aiming to put the dissolution of the district out as a referendum in early March. It would take only one community voting in the majority to dissolve the AOS.

Emily Higginbotham — 861- 9239

Twitter: EmilyHigg

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