By S.D. Plissken | January 9, 2020
There is another petition afoot that seeks to begin to address Milton’s rather astonishing school expenses.
This Citizens’ Petition seeks to direct the Milton School Board to talk with neighboring school districts to determine the feasibility of creating an Authorized Regional Enrollment Area (AREA) (see RSA 195-A in References) for sending high and middle school students out of district.
Milton registered voters are to have several opportunities to sign:
- Friday evening, January 10, at Dunkin’ Donuts (565 White Mountain Highway), from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM; and
- Saturday morning, January 11, again at Dunkin’ Donuts (565 White Mountain Highway), from 10:00 AM to Noon.
- Sunday morning, January 12, again at Dunkin’ Donuts (565 White Mountain Highway), from 10:00 AM to Noon.
(The filing deadline is Tuesday, January 14 [Corrected]).
The text of the AREA petition is as follows:
To see if the voters of the Milton School District shall direct the Milton School Board to enter into talks with neighboring School Districts to determine the feasibility of an AREA Agreement according to RSA 195-A for the purpose of sending our high school and middle school students out of district.
One hesitates to say without more information, but the petition language might suggest that the Milton School Board has refused hitherto to consider or enter into such talks on its own. A public board, responsible to the taxpayers, would never choose to put its own notions before the interests of the taxpayers that are paying the costs. That just could never be, right?
One imagines instead that the Milton School Board will leap at the suggestion that they determine if such an agreement is even feasible. And if it reduces our burden, they could not help but be interested. So, this petition would seem to be another one that seeks rather moderate ends.
One of its proponents has argued that “This does not pin us down to one school or another,” while requiring transparency in that its findings would necessarily be public.
Readers may find several random examples of such agreements in the References below, including even an interstate agreement between Orford, NH, and several Vermont towns. Surrey’s AREA agreement with Keene provides for a 2.5% tuition discount in exchange for its 20-year commitment.
Milton School Board. (2020, January 8). Milton School Board Meeting, January 8, 2020. Retrieved from www.youtube.com/watch?v=1zw2T7c12Yo
Rivendell Interstate School District. (2011, March 26). Articles of Agreement for Rivendell Interstate School District. Retrieved from www.rivendellschool.org/images/stories/districtinfo/Articles_of_Agreement_Amended_03-26-11_FinalCorrected.pdf
State of New Hampshire. (2016, June 21). RSA Chapter 195-A. Authorized Regional Enrollment Area (AREA) School. Retrieved from www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/xv/195-a/195-a-mrg.htm
SAU #19. (2014, January 9). Goffstown-New Boston AREA Agreement. Retrieved from www.goffstown.k12.nh.us/attachments/article/215/Goffstown-New_Boston_AREA_Agreement.pdf
SAU #75. (2015). Grantham-Lebanon-Plainfield AREA Agreement. Retrieved from https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0xxSV9o0oV9TzJsOU9sLUNiUjg/view
VPR. (2013, November 15). Blinkhorn: Kennedy and Dresden [Dresden School District]. Retrieved from www.vpr.org/post/blinkhorn-kennedy-and-dresden