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March 10. 2014 8:04PM

Goshen voters decide to end district ties with Lempster

LEMPSTER — Voters approved a plan for the town of Goshen to withdrawal form the Goshen-Lempster Cooperative School District at the district’s annual meeting at Goshen-Lempster School Saturday.

The plan passed 157 to 122.

“It was very close,” said Heather Rousseau, vice-chair of the Goshen-Lempster Cooperative School District. “We will move forward with what the two towns want, and we will proceed with implementation with the current withdrawal plan that has been written by the committee,” she said.

The process started last year with a petition from Goshen voters before the school district. Goshen is now charged with forming a new school district but is still part of SAU 71.

The withdrawal plan includes paying tuition to send the approximately 60 Goshen students to an area elementary school such as Lempster, Sunapee or Newport.

The Cooperative School District has only one school, the Kindergarten through eighth grade Goshen-Lempster School in Lempster that now has a student population of about 170.

According to SAU 71 superintendent Michele Munson, without the Goshen students enrollment at the elementary school would go down to about 110.

Rousseau, a Lempster resident, said the plan approved of by voters Saturday includes the new Lempster School District looking to combine classes as a way to reduce costs in the face of lower enrollment.

“The plan for the Lempster aspect with this is to evaluate the number of teachers and possibly based on the census of students attending could be discerning the possibility of combining classes,” Rousseau said.

The movement to withdraw from the Cooperative started two years ago when Lempster voters approved a change in the district’s articles of agreement that took assessed value of properties of each town out of the town’s payment equations. Lempster voters wanted both town’s cost-per-student to be the same and they got their way.

Both towns now pay about $10,000 per students from their respective towns, but that is an increase of about $3,000 per student for Goshen taxpayers SAU 71 pays tuition to send high school students to Newport, Sunapee, Keene, Claremont, Fall Mountain and Kearsarge.

mpierce@newstote.com


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