SCHOOL REDISTRICTING DECISION DELAYED - THE COMMITTEE WANTS TO MAKE SURE THE PLAN SOLVES OVERCROWDING AT LINCOLN AND DOESN'T SHIFT THE BURDEN TO ANOTHER SCHOOL

Portland Press Herald (ME) - Friday, May 6, 1994
Author: Gina Brisgone Staff Writer
The School Committee put off a decision this week on a redistricting proposal to stop overcrowding at Lincoln Middle School. 

The plan would send graduating students from Baxter Elementary School to Lyman Moore Middle School. It also would send a small group of Hall Elementary School students to King Middle. 

The proposal is backed by the administration and the operations subcommittee of the School Committee. They have worked together on the issue since February. They said the plan is the most equitable way to distribute students among the city's three middle schools to coincide with a $14.8 million expansion and renovation program. 

The project will produce renovated buildings with capacities of 600 at Lincoln and King middle schools and 800 at Lyman Moore.

But because of concerns of some School Committee members, the plan now goes back to the two groups for a second look. Assistant Superintendent Richard Whitmore said the committee agreed to vote on redistricting May 18. 

School Committee members are concerned the Baxter/Hall plan takes five years to reduce Lincoln's enrollment below 600. 

Whitmore said the Baxter/Hall plan is best for the long haul. 

``I would say it's very viable,'' Whitmore said Thursday. ``It does do the job.'' 

The plan would shift graduating Baxter students from Lincoln to Lyman Moore. Hall Elementary School students who live in the Stroudwater neighborhood would graduate to King Middle School instead of Lincoln. 

An alternate plan would shift all graduating Riverton Community School students to Lyman Moore. That plan would produce the most dramatic reduction at Lincoln. 

But Whitmore said the Riverton plan would shift the overcrowding problem to Moore within six years. 

Whitmore said the administration and operations subcommittee will consider shifting more Hall students or a small portion of Riverton students away from Lincoln to reduce crowding more dramatically. 

The school board also voted on specific staff reductions to balance the 1994-95 school budget of $55.6 million. Spared were a sexuality education teacher at Deering High School and two high school instrumental music teachers. 

The administration had proposed cutting both music jobs to half time because of static enrollments of high school music students.


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