Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Croydon Tuition Issues.

The following letter to the editor appeared in the Argus Champion.

Dear Editor,

Matt Reid did an excellent piece on the school board meeting held in Croydon on June 11, 2008. However as a tax payer, I came away from the meeting with a lot of questions that went un-answered.

Who is paying the one family to attend Newport Schools for the last month of school. This was not answered by the SAU at the meeting. We received an "I don't know," from the SAU. This also includes Special Ed Funding. Is Newport absorbing the costs? That wouldn't be fair to them.

I am not convinced that the issue with the one family is settled with $14,000.00 received from Kearsage School District. It was not explained in the public meeting how the SAU arrived at that figure. There are 2 students involved, and their father is a employee at Newport High School. It is my understanding that the SAU is paid 4 times a year, our refund should have been $14,874.00. According to the set tuition rates. We were also not presented any proof that the family were legal Croydon Residents from 2004 - 2007 school years. Our Chief of Police, has no record of the family living in town, and taxes on vehicles need to be paid in the town you reside. This show on your car registration.

Carol Marsh explained that the house I was referring to was not in Springfield. However if the house is not in Springfield, why did Kearsage pay Croydon $14,000.00? I also went to the Springfield Town Office and received a copy of the tax information on the Springfield property.

I also requested a list of students that Croydon paid tuition for, from the years 2004-2007 from the SAU office on Thursday, June 12. I was told it would take awhile. I understood that copying the records would take awhile, so I gave the SAU my phone number. They never called. I called them today (June 19) and was informed they mailed me a letter on June 18th. I asked them what was in the letter, and they said that I would not be able to get the records until August because it was a busy time of year. When I complained, I was asked if I wanted to speak with Business Administrator, Jim Vezina. I left a message on his voice mail. He has not called me back.

I am also confused about the amount of up to $40,000.00 that Croydon maybe reimbursed from Grantham. The unknown factor here is the special education funding. We can not get any information from the SAU regarding this, however a trip to the Special Education School's web site says it's tuition is $35,000.00 a year. That is the lowest amount possible, plus the tuition for the other two students attending Newport Schools.

We have under 100 students in Croydon, I can understand why I could not have the records the day I requested them, but to wait three months is absurd and unprofessional. SAU 43 has lost their credibility, first by the shoddy investigation on the two families, when our school board mentioned it months ago and now delaying records that we are legally entitled to examine.

Again I thank Matt Reid his article was accurate and in depth. The questions I have do not stem from his article but from the meeting, and the events following it.


Gayle Hedrington

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