RSU 19 School Board Tables District Shutdown Discussion 

The RSU 19 School Board is tabling discussion of a temporary shutdown. That decision was reached at a meeting on Tuesday night. The school district faces a massive budget shortfall and fears that without a stabilization loan, they will face additional, severe budget cuts. On March 8th, voters in the Newport area will cast their ballots to decide if the district should take out a 2.8 million dollar loan. Superintendent Greg Potter recommended the 18-day, mid-March to mid-April, shutdown as a cost saving measure, in case a third loan proposal fails. The teachers union, along with the Maine Education Association, says hourly employees should be eligible for unemployment benefits if the district were to temporarily close its doors. Salaried teachers would not be affected. The board is waiting for a ruling from the Department of Labor before making any decisions, but wants to do whatever they can to prevent additional cuts.In executive session, the school board accepted a motion to direct Superintendent Potter to the Attorney General and District Attorney in regards to the financial situation, and what action should be taken.