GSA Town Tuition Forums
The GSA Board of Trustees and Head of School Tim Seeley invite residents of our sending towns to town forums to discuss and ask questions about GSA's proposed tuition increase.
Brooksville Forum - Wednesday, February 5, 6:30p-8:00p in the Brooksville Elementary School Gym
Penobscot Forum - Tuesday, February 11, 6:30p-8:00p in the Penobscot Elementary School
Sedgwick Forum - Wednesday, February 12, 6:30p-8:00p in the Sedgwick Elementary School Gym
Blue Hill Forum - Thursday, February 13, 6:00p-7:30p in the BHCS Cafeteria
Castine Forum - Monday, February 24, 6:00p - 7:30p in Emerson Hall.
Brooklin Forum - Wednesday, March 4, 6:00p - 7:30p in the Brooklin Elementary School Library.
Surry Forum - Thursday, March 5, 6:00p - 7:30p in the Surry Elementary School Gym.
The following FAQ is being distributed at these forums. You can also download or read the FAQ here.
- Added info about tax implications:
It is impossible to predict exactly the tax implications for 2020 in each town of our $300 request, because many factors go into setting the tax rate. However, we can make a reasonable estimate by using 2019 tax information, and the number of students from each town who were attending GSA last year. This gives at least a ball park figure for what they would be in 2020.
If tuition had increased by $300 per student this year, the increases to 2019 tax bills would have been:
On January 24, Head of School Tim Seeley updated progress on the tuition initiative in a letter to the GSA community. Read the letter here.
On January 14, Head of School Tim Seeley updated progress on the tuition initiative in a letter to the GSA community. Read the letter here.
CORRECTION: "In yesterday's letter I mistakenly suggested that the joint meeting of town selectmen to be held tomorrow in the Blue Hill Town Hall at 1 pm would include opportunity for public comment; it will not. However, I would still strongly urge anyone who is able to attend to do so, so that we can collectively glean our best understanding of our towns' perspectives on this crucial issue. - Tim"
- At a meeting for parents on January 9, Tim Seeley distributed the an FAQ (a list of the most-asked questions about the tuition initiative and our answers to them). Read the FAQ here.
On December 18, Head of School Tim Seeley updated progress on the tuition initiative in a letter to the GSA community. Read the letter here.
On December 16, Head of School Tim Seeley updated progress on the tuition initiative in a letter to the GSA community. Read his letter here.
On November 20, Head of School Tim Seeley sent the following letter to members of the GSA community:
"As most of you know, Maine law requires towns without public schools to provide tuition support for their resident students. While the state sets a tuition rate annually, it also permits “tuitioning towns” to provide additional tuition to schools serving their students.
"In fact, GSA has never asked tuitioning towns for more than the minimum tuition (although other town academies do). Until two years ago, we were able to bridge the gap between the tuition paid by towns and the cost of educating our students, through fundraising, the use of our endowment, and, most especially, our boarding program. Bridging the tuition gap is, however, no longer possible without additional tuition from towns, and without additional tuition, our ability to serve all our students will be significantly and unavoidably diminished.
"On November 19 and 20, board chair Samantha Politte, trustee Zoë Robbins Tenney ’93 and I met with the school boards of seven surrounding tuitioning towns to let them know that we will soon be unable to operate GSA on the tuition the towns currently pay. We presented our predicament and our request for towns to provide additional tuition accompanied by a set of talking points that you can read [below]. These first two meetings are the beginning of a thoughtful process of communicating with sending towns, Select boards, budget committees, and town meetings over the coming weeks and months.
"Let me emphasize that all of us at GSA—trustees, faculty, and administrators—are committed to preserving the outstanding education we deliver today and to making improvements we envision for the future. We will continue, of course, to leverage all our resources to cover the costs of educating every student at GSA, but to succeed in this we will also need increased support from our sending towns."
Read or download "A Conversation About Town Tuitioning" here.
- Added info about tax implications: