Voters speak out about RSU 21 withdrawal

11:54 PM, Oct 10, 2012   |    comments
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ARUNDEL, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- School consolidation has been a heavily debated issue in Arundel since the town formed a regional school unit with Kennebunk and Kennebunkport. Now, Arundel is in the last phase of a process to withdraw from RSU 21. Voters heard a breakdown of the costs of withdrawing, and voiced their strong opinions on the issue at Wednesday's town meeting.

The town formed a committee and came up with a plan for withdrawal, after hundreds signed a petition is support of leaving the RSU.

Supporters of the plan say it's about regaining local control over the schools. But those who want to remain in the RSU say students are currently getting a better education.

Dorothy Gregoire has 4 children in the RSU 21 system and says, "from what we were prior to consolidation to what we are now is remarkable, its almost unbelievable."

But Sol Fedder says the answer is simple: Arundel should withdraw from its RSU and regain complete control over its schools.

"I sat on the budget board for 2 years and I watched the RSU 21 dictate exactly how we were going to educate our students, how we would educate them, and whether or not this school would stay open or it would close," Fedder says.

It's an issue that has raised a lot of emotions in this community.

"I think the kids can't speak for themselves," says Gregoire. 

Leaving it to voters to make a decision that will affect students years into the future, with less than a month to decide.

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