SAD 72, Fryeburg Academy agree on five-year contract

FRYEBURG — SAD 72 and Fryeburg Academy have reached an agreement on a five-year contract.

“I am happy to report that the negotiating committees from Fryeburg Academy and SAD 72 have reached agreement on a five-year contract that will go into effect July 1, 2014, pending voter approval,” said SAD 72 Superintendent of Schools Jay Robinson. “Both the Board of Trustees at Fryeburg Academy and the Board of Directors of the (SAD 72) District voted unanimously to support the contract, and we both feel that the contract is fair to both parties and more importantly will meet the needs of the district’s secondary students.”

The previous contract spanned 10 years. Superintendent Robinson said most of the changes had to do with clarifying language, which both sides were able to work through. Monetarily, the Academy agreed to a reduction in the per-student tuition (a combination of maximum-allowable tuition and Insured Value Factor), which will help SAD 72 moving forward, the superintendent said.

From a SAD 72 perspective, Robinson and negotiators felt it was very important to continue the long-standing and successful relationship with Fryeburg Academy.

“The students of our district have been the direct beneficiaries of a quality education for many years, and we are happy that this relationship will continue into the future,” Robinson said. “Additionally, the Academy has been willing to negotiate the financial implications of the contract, to the benefit of district taxpayers, at a time when districts all over the state are struggling to pass local school budgets.”

Another important aspect of the contract is that it guarantees that the Academy can maintain its autonomy in making decisions that support its mission and beliefs.

“The contract provides that the (school) district and Academy will regularly communicate to assure the mutual exchange of information such as enrollment numbers, standardized test results, attendance data, etc.,” Robinson said. “It also provides both parties with the opportunity to meet during ‘Liaison Meetings,’ where ideas can be exchanged and issues of interest to both parties can be explored and resolved.”

Superintendent Robinson is hopeful SAD 72 voters will turn out this spring to vote in support of the proposed contract. Public meetings will be scheduled to present terms of the contract.

The school district’s negotiating team included Norma Snow, Robert Steller, Ed Spooner, Pat White and Laura Lucy.

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