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Local Question #1 Good for PPS

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Local Question #1 Good for PPS
Posted on 10/17/2018
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On Nov. 6, Portland residents will be asked to approve Question 1 on the municipal ballot, which asks voters to support the establishment of the Greater Sebago Education Alliance (GSEA). A “yes” vote on the question will help the Portland Public Schools, because joining this Regional Service Center (RSC) will result in financial and other benefits for the district.

If voters decide against joining the RSC, the district will lose almost $100,000 in system administration funding from the state. If voters approve joining the RSC, the district retains that funding, and it also is able to access additional resources.

This past spring, the Portland Board of Public Education approved entering into an interlocal agreement with 10 districts in the region. The Greater Sebago Education Alliance Regional Service Center would include public schools in Portland, South Portland, Westbrook, Cape Elizabeth, Scarborough, Brunswick, Gorham, Regional School Unit 6/School Administrative District 6 (Buxton, Hollis, Standish, Limington, Frye Island), Regional School Unit 14 (Windham, Raymond) and School Administrative District 15 (Gray, New Gloucester).

In order to establish the RSC, voters in each participating community need to approve a ballot measure. The statute requires voter approval before districts can get the financial incentives through the funding formula. The RSC initiative was developed by the Maine Department of Education (DOE) in an effort to foster more formalized partnerships and sharing among districts. To incentivize participation, DOE is offering additional state funding to districts that demonstrate widespread voter approval for the formalized partnership.

As part of GSEA membership, the Portland Public Schools will be participating in a food service purchasing co-op and in regional professional development.

Municipal Question #1 on the ballot reads: “Do you favor the formation of a regional service center pursuant to an interlocal Agreement for the Greater Sebago Education Alliance, as approved by the governing bodies of the parties thereto and the Commissioner of the Department of Education?”