RSU 13, St. George remains deadlocked over education costs – Knox County VillageSoup
Nearly three years after the Rockland-area school district said it owed the St. George school system more than $1.3 million, the two organizations remain at odds over the amount owed.
St. George Municipal School Unit Superintendent Mike Felton in a February 3, 2022 letter to RSU 13 said, “I am confident that both districts want this issue resolved. To do this, all we ask for is clear and accurate information to enable us to calculate and verify tuition fees in accordance with state laws and regulations. St. George MSU is clearly entitled to this information to verify the large amounts that RSU 13 claims are owed and we believe it is public information under Maine’s Freedom of Access Act in all cases.
“We’re looking forward to fixing this, and I’m sure you are,” Felton said. “Additionally, we have a plan to follow based on our work to determine regular tuition. During the winter of the 2019-2020 school year, representatives from both districts met several times and reached an agreement regarding regular tuition. We have achieved this through regular communication; share data and calculations; and close attention to state laws, regulations, and tuition. Last August, through this process, we were able to issue you a check for $93,025.83 for payment of reconciled regular education (K-12) tuition fees for FY16 to FY19.
“If we take a similar approach to special education tuition, I’m confident we can solve this problem. I look forward to hearing from you and working together to address the concerns of both districts,” Felton concluded.
The issue first became public in May 2019 and collection efforts have been hampered during the pandemic.
Regional School Unit 13 sent an official letter on May 7, 2021 to St. George Municipal School Unit stating that the time has come to pay.
But St. George maintains that RSU 13 failed to provide the necessary documentation to send the money.
St. George residents voted in November 2014 to opt out of RSU 13, and the break became official on July 1, 2015. Since then, St. George has had some of its high school students attend Oceanside High School on the base tuition fees. The district also received special education services from RSU 13.
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