June 26, 2018
Documenting Residency as of June 30, 2018
To Secure Private K-8 School Subsidy for the
2018-19 and Future School Years
The recent vote of the RSU to end future private K-8 school choice in Alna but preserve it for children alive and residing in Alna as of June 30, 2018 will have little impact for most families already in town.
“Long form” residency verification applications and affidavits are available on the town’s website and at the town office and should be completed for all children who are entering school for the first time in September. A short form is available for returning students whose information has not changed from last year’s affidavit on file. Only a student’s name, school, grade level and parent’s signature is required on this form for Alna homeowners. Renters will also be required to provide a copy of a current lease.
Proving residency as of June 30th will not be an issue for most parents. If your child was born here, you can secure a copy of the birth certificate. If you have lived in town for any substantial period, you can refer to your Homestead Exemption, property tax records, car and voter registration, utility bills, etc.
We have fewer records for those who have moved here in the last few months. For this small number of people, it is your responsibility to demonstrate that you and your child/children are fully residing in Alna on June 30th if you wish them to be “grandfathered” for taxpayer-funded private school tuition subsidy in the future. You should do this even if they are not yet of school age.
Please note: Eligibility for K-8 private tuition for all children residing in Alna as of June 30th, and who continue to remain residents thereafter (“grandfathering”) was intended as a transitional benefit granted by the voters of Alna and the RSU. Its purpose is to fairly honor the expectations of current Alna residents who moved here with the understanding that the taxpayers would support private K-8 school tuition. Families moving to Alna after the votes to end private school subsidy but before June 30th have come with full knowledge that this subsidy would likely end. Thus, it is completely appropriate for the Selectmen and Superintendent give greater scrutiny to the residency documentation of post-vote arrivals to assure that Alna taxpayers are only supporting families who are fully residing here on June 30th.
Having purchased a house or signed a lease is not sufficient to establish qualifying residency. Residency means that (a) you have firmly established Alna as your bona fide primary home, and (b) are actually living here in a legal dwelling unit, to the exclusion of other residences as of June 30th. The Selectmen and RSU Superintendent will make the final determination based on a totality of the facts presented. Useful documents will include home purchase documents, a lease, photos of your home fully furnished, utility and cable bills, etc.
For families who have moved here recently but have very young children and who will not be exercising a private school grandfathering option for a few years are advised (but not required) to prepare the same documentation as if your child was entering school this fall. You are also advised to file this documentation with the town office. It will simply make it easier to document that you were living here as of June 30, 2018 at a future date.
One last important note. In order to maintain grandfathering eligibility you must live in Alna continuously from June 30, 2018 onward. Proving that is relatively easy for homeowners, but renters must keep a copy of continuous, sequential, and uninterrupted rental agreements to maintain their eligibility.