Milford might take tuitioned kindergartners

MILFORD – Five-year-olds from Lyndeborough could probably attend kindergarten classes in Milford temporarily, the school board decided Monday night.

Dr. Leo Corriveau, superintendent of schools for the district that includes Wilton and Lyndeborough, had asked the Milford board about the possibility of sending kindergarten students here in case Lyndeborough voters turned down a plan for an addition to its elementary school to accommodate kindergarten.

The dozen or so New Hampshire school districts that don’t yet offer public kindergarten, including Lyndeborough and Milford, are under a state mandate to do so in the next school year. Milford will begin offering kindergarten in September in the Jacques building behind Bales School.

A nearly $1 million bond for a large addition to Lyndeborough Central School was turned down by voters in March, and school officials are worried that voters will reject this year’s plan as well.

Corriveau has been getting cost estimates from local towns and private kindergartens about the possibility of tuitioning Lyndeborough students out of the district.

Milford School Board Chairman Peter Bragdon estimated that taking approximately 10 Lyndeborough 5-year-olds would bring Milford about $40,000 a year in revenue.

After it was clear that three Milford school board members are solidly in favor of the plan, the board debated how much of a tuition break to give Lyndeborough. Bragdon suggested a 90 percent “quantity discount.”

That is less than the discount the town of Mason is getting for its long-term deal to educate about 90 of Mason’s sixth- through 12th-graders at the Milford middle and high schools. That plan is estimated to generate about $700,000 a year for Milford.

Milford voters passed a warrant article in March that allows the school district to enter into tuition agreements with other towns. The article was on the warrant because the district wanted to negotiate with the Mason school district, but it is not specific to Mason.