Students cross the lines for education
Many SAD 44 residents likely realize that students (115 of them) from neighboring towns and townships attend district schools on a tuition basis.
But what district residents may not know is that a total of 41 other students either come to the district, or leave it, to get their educations.
Last year 32 students who were SAD 44 residents attended schools in neighboring districts, while nine non-residents came here under what is known as a superintendents’ agreement.
Students and their parents make those choices for a variety of reasons, according to SAD 44 Supt. Dave Murphy. “Typically, students attending other districts or coming here do so for a variety of reasons, including closer proximity to the requested schools, families working in those areas who travel back and forth regularly, day care needs, students who have attended those schools in the past who have moved here but want to graduate or finish out at their respective schools, etc.”
But, he said, “We do not consider agreements due to sports requests.”
Under the arrangement no tuition is charged, but the district where each student attends gets to count the youngster in the calculation of state aid received, while the sending district loses that revenue.
Both superintendents involved must agree to the plan.
According to figures from last October, the 32 SAD 44 students leaving the district went to one of two neighboring systems: RSU 10 (Rumford-Mexico) or SAD 17 (Norway-Paris).
Nine went to RSU 10. Of those, seven were high school students and all of them were from Andover or Bethel.
SAD 17 hosted 23 SAD 44 students, 16 of them of ages K-8. Of the overall total, 17 were from Woodstock, five from Greenwood and one from Bethel.
On the flip side, of the nine students coming from elsewhere to SAD 44, three were from SAD 17 (West Paris, South Paris and Waterford), and six were from RSU 10 (three of them foreign exchange students)
As for the 115 tuition students, they hailed from six towns or unorganized territories (tuition averages about $8,000 per student, paid by the town or the state).
The breakdown was Albany 50; Gilead 27; Hanover 12; Mason 9; Milton 13 and Upton 4.
SAD 44’s total student enrollment last October was 814. The total enrollment for SAD 44 resident students was 692 (Andover 82; Bethel 342; Greenwood 89; Newry 29; Woodstock 150).