Thursday, December 12, 2013
By Paul Koenig email@example.com
Students commuting from Chelsea to Cony High School are guaranteed a ride for the rest of the school year.
Administrators from the Augusta school district and Regional School Unit 12 agreed today that students from Chelsea could get on a Cony bus at a stop it makes near the Augusta-Chelsea line.
Chelsea had funded busing for its students attending Cony since school started, but it was only to be for 30 days and that ended today.
RSU 12 Superintendent Howard Tuttle and Augusta Superintendent James Anastasio settled on the agreement when they discovered there was room on a Cony bus that travels Route 17 and stops near the Chelsea line, Tuttle said.
About 60 students from Chelsea attend Cony, but no more than 10 have been riding the bus funded by the town, Tuttle said.
Tuttle and Anastasio said the agreement will last to the end of the school year.
The town of Chelsea already pays to bus students between their homes and central locations, but last year the Augusta school district stopped funding busing for students outside of Augusta because transportation costs aren't included in the state-set tuition it charges.
Previously, Cony, along with other area high schools, sent a bus to Chelsea Elementary School in the morning and Chelsea Market in the afternoon to pick up and drop off students.
That ended after the Augusta Board of Education didn't renew a 10-year contract with the town that expired June 30.
Tuttle said the district's busing and tuition committee will present options for a contract with Cony to the school board on Oct. 10.
Students in Somerville-based RSU 12 can choose to go to any high school, but the district only provides transportation for Wiscasset High School. RSU 12 covers Alna, Chelsea, Palermo, Somerville, Whitefield, Windsor, Westport Island and Wiscasset.
Besides Cony, many students from Chelsea attend Hall-Dale High School in Farmingdale, Erskine Academy in South China and Gardiner Area High School, all of which provide transportation for Chelsea students. At Erskine, families in RSU 12 pay $10 per week for busing
Paul Koenig — 621-5663