Originally published in Castine Patriot, February 20, 2020 and The Weekly Packet, February 20, 2020
GSA requested more tuition. Here’s how towns are responding
by Anne Berleant
As discussions between George Stevens Academy trustees and the school board and town officials from the independent school’s sending towns progress, each town is putting forth the request to voters in different ways.
GSA has asked an additional $300 per student for the 2020-21 school year to begin addressing a budget gap, with hopes that discussion continues over the months ahead on reaching GSA’s total request of phasing in $2,000 per student above the state-set tuition rate.
Blue Hill, Brooklin, Brooksville, Castine, Penobscot, Sedgwick and Surry school districts all send the majority of high school students to GSA. While students are free to choose any high school they wish to attend, towns provide transportation to GSA and, in some districts, to another district, such as Deer Isle-Stonington and Bucksport.
GSA Board of Trustees Chairman Smanatha Politte held three meetings with school board chairmen from each sending town in hopes, she said, that a common warrant article or referendum vote for all the towns could be drafted. However, the table below shows the different approaches each town is taking to the tuition request.