Augusta Public Schools and Amish Consider Partnership

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Officials from the Augusta Public School District and the surrounding Amish community are considering a partnership.

The Amish children are currently educated in a private school system, but are sometimes aided by the public schools for special education needs.

The new partnership would turn at least some of the Amish schools into charter schools, supported by the public school system.

"It's a win-win situation," says Steve LaFave, Augusta's Superintendent. "Financially, our district would benefit because we would receive more state aid for these children than we would need to run the program so it would help us. They would get teachers, they would lower their taxes, and it would also get materials."

Right now, the Amish pay for public schools through their property taxes, but also pay for their own schools through a separate community tax.

The Amish School Board is planning to discuss the issue with Amish Elders next month.