Harpswell might get less from the state
School Administrative District 75 Superintendent J. Michael Wilhelm told
selectmen Thursday night that one of two funding scenarios released by the
Department of Education Tuesday could wipe out about $886,000 in state
funding to educate the town's special education students and disregard a law
Harpswell fought hard to pass last year.
"Whatever is happening in Augusta now is a mystery to virtually everyone,"
Wilhelm said, explaining that two funding scenarios proposed for special
education reimbursement to Harpswell range from $1,173,000 to $153,449.
The Times Record's News: Harpswell takes step toward hiring State House
James Henderson was officially welcomed to the board at Thursday night's
meeting, his first since Saturday's election and annual town meeting.
Much of the Board of Selectmen's ambitious agenda for Thursday was tabled,
however, due to the absence of Selectwoman Amy Haible, whose mother is ill.
Still, Selectman Sam Alexander welcomed Henderson, telling him, "I hope we
have a long, productive relationship."
The Times Record's News: Harpswell voters end quest to quit SAD 75
first warm, sunny day in recent memory, Harpswellians turned out in droves
Saturday to decide that the time has indeed come to terminate the effort to
withdraw from School Administrative District 75, and that proposed land-use
ordinances resulted in an unacceptable land grab.
Only a few had gathered at Harpswell Islands School by 9 a.m., when 10 votes
determined that John F. Loyd Jr. would serve as moderator for this year's
meeting. Surrounded by poster-board charts of sit-up and push-up records in
the school gymnasium, Loyd convened the business meeting just after 10 a.m.,
as residents clad in muddy L.L. Bean boots and Talbots sweaters began to
crowd the bleachers and metal chairs, many pulling out supplies and knitting
in anticipation of a day-long deliberation.
The Times Record's News: SAD 75 board members find devils in school reform
Members of the School Administrative District 75 board of directors
spouted off to their local legislators Thursday about the governor's plan
for educational administration consolidation. Like school board members
throughout the state, the SAD 75 directors criticized what they said is a
lack of detail or analysis of cost and savings estimates and assumptions
within the plan.
The school reform package announced by Gov. John Baldacci on Jan. 5 is just
one of several consolidation plans, said Senate President Beth Edmonds,
D-Freeport, who attended the meeting with other state lawmakers who
represent the district's four towns, Harpswell, Topsham, Bowdoin and
The Times Record News: Harpswell preserves SAD 75 exit option
HARPSWELL - In a letter Tuesday to Maine Education Commissioner Susan
Gendron on behalf of the Board of Selectmen, Town Administrator Kristi Eiane
has requested an extension of a 90-day deadline for completion of
negotiations about Harpswell's proposed withdrawal from School
Administrative District 75.
"The Board of Selectmen is considering a range of options, including the
formation of a new withdrawal committee, and how to respond to a
citizen-initiated petition that calls for termination of the withdrawal
process," Eiane wrote in the letter, which resulted from Tuesday's executive
session of the Board of Selectmen, the second in which selectmen met with
legal counsel to determine their options in light of the Sept. 28
resignation of the entire committee formed to negotiate Harpswell's
withdrawal from SAD 75.
The Times Record's Opinion: Consolidate SAD 75 with Brunswick
I write out of frustration. I live and pay taxes in Harpswell. I have no
school children in my family. I voted to proceed with the withdrawal
negotiations to see where they might lead. Nowhere.
Now, with nothing pending, I present the suggestion I offered to the
governor last March: to consolidate SAD 75 with Brunswick, noting while such
an action would unlikely be initiated by either party, the state might
provide that catalyst as it did with the initial formation of SAD 75. His
response was to send my suggestion to the Commissioner of Education Susan
Gendron for her consideration and response. To date, I have heard nothing
The Times Record's Opinion: SAD 75 committee refutes 'bad faith' claim
Sept. 28, when announcing his resignation as the public member of the
Harpswell Withdrawal Committee, Gordon Weil made a number of false
statements about the SAD 75 Withdrawal Negotiations Committee that were
reported in The Times Record on Sept. 29. As members of this committee, we
need to set the record straight.
Mr. Weil claimed that SAD 75, and its bargaining team, acted "in bad faith."
This is a baseless claim. This spring, we met four times with Mr. Weil's
committee for withdrawal negotiations. We were prepared to continue these
negotiations, but in June the Harpswell Withdrawal Committee declared that
we were deadlocked, and that it did not want to continue negotiations.
Instead, it presented a withdrawal proposal to the commissioner of education
The Times Record's News: Selectmen accept exit team's mass resignation
HARPSWELL - At Tuesday morning's administrative meeting, the Board of
Selectmen quickly went into executive session to discuss their roles and
responsibilities in light of last week's resignation of the entire committee
formed to negotiate Harpswell's withdrawal from SAD 75.
Town Administrator Kristi Eiane said Tuesday that the committee emerged
about a half-hour later after conferring with legal counsel by phone, and
voted in open session to accept the resignations of Gordon Weil, Lee
Theberge and Sam Alexander, who is also a selectman, from the withdrawal
committee. Dee Carrier, the fourth committee member who resigned last week,
was not appointed by the Harpswell Board of Selectmen.
The Times Record's Opinion: Bad time to end negotiations with SAD 75
the only way Harpswell can stop subsidizing education costs in other towns
By Craig Stephens
Now is a good time to take stock of Harpswell's efforts to re-establish
fair educational funding and a bad time to end negotiations with SAD 75.
Three years ago the state imposed new education funding rules. SAD 75 used
to charge all four towns about the same amount per student, but this year
Harpswell is charged 23 percent more than the other three district towns
more than $13,000 per student compared to less than $10,500 per student. The
district-wide average cost is just under $11,100, so Harpswell's subsidy of
$2,025 per student reduces charges to Topsham, Bowdoin and Bowdoinham by
$600 per student.
The Times Record's News: Entire Harpswell exit team quits
Citing a lack of participation by Education Commissioner Susan Gendron and
decisions by School Administrative District 75 representatives that show
"the ultimate in bad faith," all four members of the Harpswell committee
formed to negotiate the town's withdrawal from the school district resigned
Thursday night at a meeting of the Board of Selectmen.
Each of the four spoke during the public comment period, beginning with
committee chairman Gordon Weil, who said he resigned because he believes the
withdrawal process has no reasonable chance for success. Of several reasons
Weil cited, first on the list was his belief that "the SAD 75 board of
directors and negotiating committee have not been bargaining in good faith
and will not do so."
The Times Record's News: Harpswell residents question exit panel
HARPSWELL A public information session held by the committee formed to
negotiate Harpswell's withdrawal from School Administrative District 75 drew
less than a full house to Harpswell Islands School on Tuesday.
Invitations to selectmen and school board members from Bowdoin,
Bowdoinham and Topsham, as well as to SAD 75 Superintendent J. Michael
Wilhelm and to Maine Education Commissioner Susan Gendron, went unanswered
except by Donald Russell and Bob Hill, school board members from Topsham.
The Times Record News: Withdrawal team takes its case to the public today
The committee formed to negotiate the town's withdrawal from School
Administrative District 75 will hold a public informational session at 7
p.m. today at Harpswell Islands School, 308 Harpswell Islands Road.
Gordon Weil, chairman of the withdrawal committee, said this morning that
the meeting will allow the committee to answer questions and take comments
about the withdrawal process.
"There were issues raised that we don't know enough about what was going
on, and some questions about the substance of the negotiations," Weil said.
"Obviously, a number of people in town are not feeling that they had full or
The Times Record's News: Selectwomen: No more cash for exit talks
HARPSWELL At a
special meeting of the Board of Selectmen Thursday afternoon, Selectwomen
Amy Haible and Katherine Chatterjee expressed dissatisfaction with the
direction taken by the committee formed to negotiate withdrawal from School
Administrative District 75.
Each said that she would not appropriate additional funds for the effort
if asked by the withdrawal committee.
The Times Record's News: Stalled exit talks stir Harpswell
Selectmen meet today on their role; withdrawal panel
seeks meeting with others
HARPSWELL The committee formed to negotiate
Harpswell's withdrawal from School Administrative District 75 wants to
invite representatives from the district's three other towns to a public
information session about its withdrawal efforts.
But before invitations go out to representatives of Topsham, Bowdoin and
Bowdoinham the other three towns in SAD 75 the Harpswell Board of
Selectmen has scheduled a special meeting with the town attorney this
afternoon to discuss their role in the withdrawal negotiation process.
The Times Record's News: Call for mediator remains a sticking point
BOWDOIN - The School
Administrative District 75 board of directors met in executive session with
their attorney Thursday at Bowdoin Central School to discuss the most recent
proposal from Harpswell to withdraw from the four-town school district.
The private session lasted nearly an hour before the doors of the
cafeteria room opened. School Board member Dee Carrier, the board member on
the Harpswell withdrawal committee, waited outside the doors with other
members of the audience. She later abstained from the forthcoming
recommendation of the board.
The Times Record's News: Harpswell: Do we need a mediator?
The committee formed to negotiate Harpswell's withdrawal from School
Administrative District 75 met Monday afternoon to determine how to proceed
after Superintendent J. Michael Wilhelm confirmed last week that the SAD 75
withdrawal negotiating committee will not meet without the participation of
In its most recent proposal, the Harpswell withdrawal committee suggested
that negotiations resume without the participation of any mediator. Last
week, Joanne Rogers, chairwoman of the SAD 75 withdrawal committee, said
they intend to have counsel present at all negotiating meetings and want
mediators to be involved in all talks.
The Times Record News: SAD 75 cool to latest exit offer
Harpswell submits new proposal; parties
differ on involvement of mediators
HARPSWELL Buoyed by cost estimates from the
state, the committee formed to negotiate Harpswell's withdrawal from School
Administrative District 75 mailed a new proposal to the district on
The Times Record News: New questions arise in exit talks
the committee formed to negotiate Harpswell's withdrawal from School
Administrative District 75 updated selectmen Monday on the status of those
talks, a resident explored the possibility of circulating a petition that
calls for an end to the withdrawal process
Public comment sets off sparks at Harpswell meeting
Thursday evening's meeting of the Board of Selectmen drew only a handful of
community members, but those who attended were there to be heard.
Harpswell, SAD 75 sent to mediation
rejects town's withdrawal proposal, orders new talks
Maine's school funding formula doesn't work
school funding formula provides state dollars to local school districts
based on an allocation model called Essential Programs and Services, or EPS.
Some consider it nothing but a scheme to avoid state funding of local
education at the hoped-for and promised 55 percent level.
The Times Record's News: Residents weigh in on Harpswell exit plan
HARPSWELL - A
second public meeting on Harpswell's proposal to leave School Administrative
District 75 generated more debate over withdrawing from than district the
town shares with Bowdoin, Bowdoinham and Topsham than questions about the
withdrawal proposal itself.
The Times Record's News: SAD 75 lists objections to Harpswell exit plan
School Administrative District 75's four-member withdrawal negotiating team
today sent a letter to Education Commissioner Susan Gendron in response to a
withdrawal plan submitted by Harpswell the member town withdrawing from
the school district it shares with Topsham, Bowdoin and Bowdoinham.
The Times Record's News: Harpswell touts exit plan
When Education Commissioner Susan Gendron weighs in on teetering
negotiations between Harpswell and School Administrative District 75, the
withdrawing town's committee to negotiate withdrawal will have fronted a
different roster and allowed residents to influence its game plan.
The Times Record's News: SAD 75 wants talks to continue
School Administrative District 75 sharply criticized Harpswell on Monday,
saying the town acted "prematurely" when it abandoned negotiations and asked
the state to approve the town's plan to leave the four-town school district.
The Times Record's News: State gets exit plan
sends its withdrawal proposal to Gendron; SAD 75 claims plan is invalid.
The Times Record's News: Talks hinge on operation of Harpswell schools
teams spar on whether to negotiate for control of town's 2 elementary
HARPSWELL - It was an ominous sign for Tuesday's negotiations between
School Administrative District 75 and its would-be seceder Harpswell
when the two sides started the meeting by failing to agree on what they
disagreed about at the last meeting.
The Times Record's Opinion
Where are the cost-saving numbers?
I picked up a local Harpswell paper the other day and thumbed through
the must-read section concerning the SAD 75 update. Headlines read,
"Negotiations have begun between Harpswell and SAD 75!" Although all
options should be considered and multiple avenues explored, I would hope
that the people of the town of Harpswell would have a worst-case
scenario set of figures before they head down the road to the polls.
75 remain far apart on terms for town's withdrawal from school district
Details snag SAD 75 withdrawal talks
While they can agree that they disagree, committees representing School
Administrative District 75 and Harpswell in that town's ongoing
negotiations to withdraw from the district failed to reach consensus on
much else during their second face-to-face meeting Thursday night.
No progress in SAD 75-Harpswell talks
was as if they were speaking foreign languages without an interpreter.
The Harpswell and School Administrative District 75 negotiating
committees on Monday held their first face-to-face meeting since
Harpswell residents voted on Jan. 28 to withdraw from the school
district shared with Topsham, Bowdoinham and Bowdoin.
Selectmen relieved talks will be 'open'
Selectmen were relieved to hear at Thursday's school board meeting that
negotiations are expected to happen in open sessions between School
Administrative District 75 and Harpswell over Harpswell's withdrawal.
Town to SAD 75: It's time to talk
negotiations between School Administrative District 75 and its would-be
abdicator, Harpswell, might begin next week, with the first session
tentatively scheduled for April 24.
SAD 75 board says 'no' to initial Harpswell proposal
School Administrative District 75 school board issued a failing grade to
Harpswell's first proposal to withdraw from the district it shares with
Topsham, Bowdoin and Bowdoinham.
Harpswell hears plan to leave SAD 75
proposal to have Harpswell withdraw from School Administrative District
75 would not lead to any changes in the day-to-day education of the
town's 583 students, according to members of the Withdrawal Committee.
Harpswell submits withdrawal plan
SAD 75 board
stays mum on proposal, until its members have had opportunity to review
HARPSWELL "Keep the district inside Harpswell, but Harpswell out of
the district," seems to be the premise of the withdrawal proposal
released Thursday afternoon by the town committee to negotiate terms for
leaving School Administrative District 75.
SAD 75 officials offer insights on drop-outs
TOPSHAM - As
the committee it created to deal with Harpswell's study whether to
withdraw from the school district set Tuesday as the day it would take
its first look at Harpswell's withdrawal proposal, the Board of
Directors for School Administrative District 75 met Thursday to conduct
Special education bill moves forward
Art Mayo's LD 1953 would increase funding for Harpswell, other towns
with high property values.
Harpswell inequity issue dominates discussion
Petition set to be delivered Thursday
Harpswell petition seeks withdrawal from SAD 75
Selectmen urge Harpswell to quit SAD 75
SAD 75 cost-sharing panel gives up
SAD 75 panel to meet again on cost-sharing
Talks begin on SAD 75 cost-sharing
SAD 75 to review aid formula
Harpswell sends shot across SAD 75's bow
Leave SAD 75, or stay-
Harpswell cries foul on school funding
Voters to decide $32.2 million SAD 75 budget
SAD 75 funding formula debated
SAD 75 towns to review funding formula
General Purpose Aid to Schools break down
SAD 75 approves $30.7M budget
SAD 75 budget cut by $500K
SAD 75 budget OK'd
Mt. Ararat crowding to require extra funds
SAD 75 wins big in education aid
SAD 75 OKs $28.7M budget
The Times Record's Online News Archives
related articles go to this section and search the "news" section for
"SAD 75." There is a very impressive list.