AOS#77 School Board Meeting Results

By Amy Jeanroy

Thursday, May 9, the AOS#77 School Board met at Perry Elementary School. After a call to order, pledge of allegiance and moment of silence, the meeting began.
Minutes were approved and public comments were taken. The first public comment pertained to the timing of AOS notices being published.
Public comments and questions were as follows:
Q. How does the public from each town find out about AOS meetings?
A. The law states that 24 hour notice must be given. Notices are sent out to be posted in each town.
Q. Where and who posts the AOS meeting notices?
A. Different towns post in different places, some in post offices, others in the schools. We also release the notice to the media. There are about 25 to 30 notices between media email and postings.
Q. The post office in Pembroke, the notice had the word Postponed written across it. The postmistress didn’t’ know anything about it. Who posted that notice and who wrote postponed on it?
A. We can’t control who writes on the notices once they are posted. Call the AOS Secretary at Superintendent Jim Underwood’s office to find out the list of postings.
Q. With the split, some services are going to go with Calais and some with the AOS. Is there a breakdown of services that we are going to lose and is there a process in place to rehire?
A. Throughout the course of this meeting, your questions will be answered.
Then the audit report was read.The board then went into Executive session with legal consult between the bodies/agencies and their attorneys, AOS 77 and Calais School Committee. The audience and press were asked to leave the room.
After the public was again brought into the room, a motion was made by Steve Knowles to file a declaratory judgement action if Calais doesn’t agree to honor it’s 37% contribution to  the AOS # 77 superintendent’s salary within 2 weeks of today. An amendment was made to add  the words: Current contract and within 14 days.
Nine board members were in favor (Calais, Perry, and Charlotte representatives were not) and the motion passed.
A second Executive session was entered and public was asked to leave the room.
The results of the Executive session was no action.
The meeting was then turned over to Superintendent Underwood for the discussion and review of the proposed 2013-2014 budget. He presented 4 possible budgets for review. A copy of all 4 budgets will be available in The Calais Advertiser office for the remainder of the month of May.
After reviewing all 4 potential budgets, it was noted that one of the budgets included using a part time special ed coordinator instead of a full time special ed director, to help with the budget. The question was asked:
Q. I thought a Special Ed Director was needed for the formation of an AOS?
A. We have to meet the requirements for a special ed director’s qualifications to get the contract in person also which would include someone certified in special ed willing to work part time contracted service as a department head. We will fulfill that requirement, but no district is required to have a special ed director. It is not advisable, but it is possible.
Post Executive Action was no action. The meeting was tabled in order to give everyone a chance to look over the 4 proposals. Mr. Underwood will let everyone know when the next meeting will take place.