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Schools:
Maine Department Of Education
 Steps To Be Followed In The Withdrawal Process

A town that wishes to withdraw from a school administrative district or community school district of 
three or more municipalities shall do so in compliance with 20-A M.R.S.A. §1403, §1405, and §1751. 
A Withdrawal Agreement cannot be executed unless there is documentation that each of the 24 steps has 
been followed in the specified order. This document is intended to assist in the interpretation of statute, 
but not replace statute. 
Step 1. A petition requesting withdrawal from a school administrative district or a community school 
district signed by 10 percent of the number of voters in a municipality who voted in the last 
gubernatorial election is presented to the municipal officials. 
Step 2. The municipal officials shall call and hold a special election to vote on whether to start the 
withdrawal process. 
Step 3. At least 10 days before the election, the municipal officials shall hold a public hearing on 
the petition. 
Step 4. The petition must be approved by secret ballot by a majority vote of the voters present and 
voting before it may be presented to the district board of directors and to the Commissioner 
of the Department of Education. 
Step 5. The article to be voted upon is contained in 20-A M.R.S.A. §1403(2), with the word 
“withdrawal” substituted for “dissolution” as required by 20-A M.R.S.A. §1405(2)(C). 
Step 6. If the vote is favorable, the clerk shall immediately give written notices, by registered mail, 
to the secretary of the District (in an SAD the Superintendent of Schools serves as the 
secretary) and to the Commissioner of Education, which shall include: 
A. The petition adopted by the voters, including the positive and negative votes cast; and 
B. An explanation by the municipal officials stating to the best of their knowledge, the 
reason or reasons why the municipality seeks to withdraw from the district. 
Step 7. The Commissioner shall direct the municipality to establish a Withdrawal Committee to 
develop a Withdrawal Agreement in the format specified in “Required Elements of a 
Withdrawal Agreement,” available from the Commissioner’s Office. The Withdrawal 
Committee shall include four members appointed as follows: 
A. One school director selected by directors representing that municipality; and 
B. One municipal officer, one member of the group that field the petition, and one member 
of the general public, all selected by the municipal officials. 
Step 8. The chair of the municipal officials shall call a meeting of the Withdrawal Committee within 
30 days of the filing of the notice of the vote in step 6. The chair of the municipal officials 
shall open the meeting by presiding over the election of a chair for the Withdrawal 
Committee. 
Step 9. The Withdrawal Committee shall develop a proposed Withdrawal Agreement and shall 
submit it to the Commissioner within 90 days after the Committee is formed. The 
Commissioner may grant extensions of time. 
Step 10. Within 60 days of the receipt of a proposed Withdrawal Agreement, the Commissioner shall 
either give it conditional acceptance or recommend changes. 
Step 11. If conditional acceptance is given, the Commissioner shall notify the municipal officials of 
the town proposing to withdraw and the district board of directors by registered mail of the 
Withdrawal Process steps time and place of a public hearing at least 20 days prior to the date set for the hearing to 
discuss the merits of the proposed Withdrawal Agreement. 
Step 12. The municipal officials of the town proposing to withdraw shall post a public notice in the 
municipality of the time and location of the hearing at least 10 days before the hearing. 
Step 13. The Withdrawal Committee shall develop the final Withdrawal Agreement and, within 30 
days following the hearing, shall forward the final Withdrawal Agreement to the 
Commissioner. 
Step 14. On receipt of the final Withdrawal Agreement, the Commissioner may recommend changes. 
If the Commissioner recommends changes, the Commissioner shall send the final 
Withdrawal Agreement back to the Withdrawal Committee, establish a maximum time 
frame, and indicate the steps to be followed by the Withdrawal Committee. 
Step 15. On receipt of a final Withdrawal Agreement for which the Commissioner recommends no 
changes, the Commissioner approves the final Withdrawal Agreement and determines the 
date upon which the municipality proposing to withdraw will vote on the Withdrawal 
Agreement. The vote shall be held as soon as practicable and the Commissioner shall 
attempt to set the date of the vote to coincide with a statewide election. 
Step 16. The Commissioner will notify municipal officials of the town proposing to withdraw by 
written notice by registered or certified mail to the town or city clerk of the municipality. The 
town or city clerk shall immediately notify the municipal officials upon receipt of the notice. 
Step 17. At least 35 days before the date of the date of the vote, the municipal officials shall meet and 
issue a warrant for a special town meeting, or city election as the case may be, to be held on 
the date designated by the Commissioner. No other date may be used. 
Step 18. The municipal officials of the town proposing to withdraw shall hold a posted or otherwise 
advertised public hearing on the Withdrawal Agreement at least 10 days before the special 
town meeting or city election. 
Step 19. The special town meeting or city election on the Withdrawal Agreement shall be conducted 
in accordance with 30-A M.R.S.A. §2528-29 or 21-A M.R.S.A., as applicable. 
Step 20. The town or city clerk shall, within 24 hours of determination of the results of the vote on 
the Withdrawal Agreement, certify the total number of “yes” and the total number of “no” 
votes to the municipal officials of the town proposing to withdraw. 
Step 21. The district board of directors shall meet and verify the “yes” and “no” votes cast on the 
Withdrawal Agreement. The municipal officials shall then notify the Commissioner by 
certified mail of the results of the vote on the Withdrawal Agreement. 
Step 22. If the Commissioner finds that two-thirds of the voters on the article have voted in the 
affirmative, the Commissioner shall notify the district board of directors and the municipal 
officials of the town proposing to withdraw to execute the Withdrawal Agreement forthwith. 
Step 23. When the district board of directors and the municipal officials of the town proposing to 
withdraw have executed the Withdrawal Agreement, they shall notify the Commissioner by 
certified mail. 
Step 24. Once all of the above steps are completed, the Commissioner shall forthwith issue a certified 
amended Certificate of Organization to be sent by mail for filing with the district board of 
directors and shall file a copy with the office of the Secretary of State, Corporate Division. 

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Last edited on 01/07/2010