Home » News » Politics » Town Meetings
Decision time nears for Dunbarton school vote
The Authorized Regional Enrollment Area (AREA) agreement ends in 2014, and Dunbarton voters must choose whether to continue its 40-year relationship with Goffstown, or pursue a new partnership with the Bow school district.
Should Dunbarton choose to let the agreement with Goffstown expire, Goffstown could lose as much at $2 million in tuition revenue.
With about six weeks to go before the final vote, the Dunbarton School Board has held a public information meeting and arranged for tours of both Goffstown and Bow schools later this month.
At Wednesday's meeting, the Dunbarton School Board presented information highlighting the similarities and differences between the districts in areas, including test scores, course offerings and taxpayer cost.
Philip Pancoast, chairman of the Goffstown School Board, said the re-negotiated AREA agreement includes new provisions that will give both Dunbarton and New Boston a slightly lower rental charge and more say in educational decisions over the next 10 years.
"We've done all the things necessary to make sure those communities have a voice in the education of their students," Pancoast said.
Under the new agreement, school board members in the two towns will have a vote on school board sub-committees. "The sub-committees do most of the work of the school board," Pancoast said. "A vote on a sub-committee is meaningful."
The building rental charge paid by Dunbarton and New Boston, which is part of the tuition calculation, has been reduced to 2 percent from 2.5 percent, Pancoast said at Goffstown's school deliberative session Saturday.
"We're returning to where we were 10 years ago," Pancoast said. "We needed to have an agreement that was competitive on a price basis." Dunbarton School Board Chairman Rene Ouellet said that after much negotiation, the AREA agreement with Goffstown stacks up well against the one with Bow.
Pancoast also said the relationship among the three school districts has been beneficial to the Goffstown community.
"We've had a very effective marriage for the past 40 years," he said. "It's substantially important to this community."
A point of contention between Goffstown and Dunbarton lies in the repayment of an $800,000 bond that paid for improvements at Goffstown High School, which Pancoast said contributed to the school's accreditation.
Pancoast said Goffstown's position is that Dunbarton would still be responsible for repayment of its share of that bond, regardless of whether Dunbarton continues the agreement.
"Nowhere in the statutory scheme does it say you get to exit without consequence," Pancoast said. "You can't go to the statute to resolve this issue."
But Ouellet disagrees.
"Our position is simple," he said. "If we do not renew the agreement, it expires," adding that state statute doesn't address the repayment of any bonds.
READER COMMENTS: 3
- You don't have to be a kid to earn a time-out for your actions - 4
- Publisher's Notebook: Cigars, memories and bending phones - 0
- Diane Foley is a lady of extraordinary elegance - 0
- Not every human gets elected, but that chicken certainly pecked away at the legal system - 0
- Joe McQuaid's Publisher's Notes: Voting is your stamp on the future - 2
- New faces, proven veterans will assure Union Leader's solid hold on the news - 0
- Joe McQuaid's Publisher's Notebook: A tough hike to see AMC 'croo,' but finding 'Quos' made the day - 0
- Publisher's Notebook: The candidate who can spell the name of every 80's sports car wins - 4
- Joe McQuaid's Publisher's Notebook: A humbling — and inspiring — event - 0
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Hudson police charge man with impersonating police officer - 0
- Accident results in DWI charge for Hudson man - 0
- College Hockey: UNH freshman Clark ready, willing and able - 0
- Home-grown talent has UNH women's cross country out in front - 0
- Roger Brown's First and 10: Playoff picture will get clearer - 0
- New players, new coach, new look for Monarchs in home opener tonight - 0
- Making it up: Shameless state Senate attacks - 3
- Blackwater verdict stuns NH dad - 4
- FairPoint paying thousands a day for police details at Manchester sites alone - 0
Blackwater verdict stuns NH dad
UPDATED: Flood warning issued for southern NH; leaks force visitation to be cancelled at Goffstown women's prison
Debate rule No. 1: Don't crash
Blackwater verdict stuns NH dad
Making it up: Shameless state Senate attacks