Island reviews high school allocation agreement

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The all-Island finance committee will meet on Wednesday, August 28, at 6 pm in the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School library conference room, to discuss altering the allocation agreement to focus on large capital costs.

According to Oak Bluffs finance committee chair Bill Vrooman, the committee has recently discussed avenues for funding a study to determine whether the high school should be renovated, or whether a new school should be built entirely.

In order to fund the study, all six Island towns had to vote in favor, but Oak Bluffs rejected the study idea to renovate or reconstruct the school.

Now, Vrooman said, there is an urgency to come up with an allocation agreement that is acceptable to all Island towns, because the school is in need of immediate renovations.

He said Edgartown has lacked representation at recent all-Island finance committee meetings, and he hopes the town will show up for the next one. “It seems they are happy with how the formula is set up,” Vrooman said.

Currently, the funding formula is based on a per-pupil rate, meaning that the more kids attend high school from a particular town, the more the town pays.

There are seven different formulas currently under review by the finance committees in each town.

In a May regional agreement subcommittee meeting, high school committee member Amy Houghton said she hopes to reorient the formula to make the high school a resource for the entire Island, and a community hub.