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News Feature

Blue Hill
Originally published in Castine Patriot, January 27, 2022 and The Weekly Packet, January 27, 2022
GSA reps attend school board meetings
Explain the need for tuition request

by Jeffrey B. Roth

Members of the George Stevens Academy Board of Trustees and administrators have been attending sending town school board meetings to discuss GSA’s request to increase its per student tuition rate to $1,700 for the next school year—an increase of $700 over the current tuition rate.

In a January 19 email to members of its Financial Planning Advisory Committee, Sally Mills, GSA board chair, wrote: “Representatives from GSA attended each of the recent round of school board meetings to make a (very) short presentation about this year’s request for enhanced tuition and an update about efforts towards greater transparency…FPAC’s work, public meetings, information on the website, and the proposed Budget Advisory Committee.”

Mills asked members if “it [would]be helpful to have a similar presentation at a select board meeting?” That email expresses the school’s interest to interact more with the public and to be more transparent in its budget planning process.

“It sounds like the towns have made a huge amount of progress in developing the draft charter for the proposed GSA Budget Advisory Committee,” Mills stated in the email. “Talking to Jim Goodman and Ben Astbury, it makes sense to give everyone a few more weeks to circulate the draft before all of us come together as a committee.”

The budget oversight committee would be composed of one representative from each of the eight sending towns—Blue Hill, Brooklin, Brooksville, Castine, Orland, Penobscot, Sedgwick and Surry. Each representative would be appointed to a three-year term.

The next public meeting of the FPAC will be held Monday, February 28, at 7 p.m. via Zoom.