Can't make the difficult decisions

Voters of Minot, Mechanic Falls and Poland have voted twice to not accept the Regional School Unit 16 school budget for 2011-12.

I attended the school board meeting on June 27 to see what the board would do next. It was immediately apparent to me that the school board and Superintendent Dennis Duquette don’t place much value in the democratic process. Duquette made it quite clear that he was not interested in reducing the budget and instead wants to put items back in.

He stated that the next referendum vote was being postponed until September when “parents return from vacations and would be available to go vote in favor of the budget.”

The Budget Committee chairwoman then said she wanted to return to the original $19-plus million. There was not one comment from any board member affirming that the voters had spoken.

The $17.8 million budget is being implemented July 1, and the board already hired one new teacher at this meeting. They do not seem concerned with the plight of the taxpayers trying to get by in the worst economy since the Depression. Everyone wants their children to get a good education, but this is a time to look at the big picture. Making do should be a priority all around, including the schools.

It seems to me that members of the RSU 16 school board have forgotten who elected them to office, and that they are incapable of making the hard decisions.

Nancy Fraser, Poland

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Bernice Fraser's picture

RSU16 budget

What is the price of a good teacher? will a teacher getting $80,000.00 do a better job than a devoted teacher who gets $30,000.00.
When one chooses teaching as a proffession do they go into it with the idea how much can I make and, wow! I will get all my summer off alot of sick or personal days? I would hope not for that would not be a teacher I would want to teach my child.
A teacher should be one who enjoys learning and teaching children how to learn not just throw facts at them from a book and expect them to memorize dates etc. Teaching should get the children involved and interested into pursueing more of the subject they are learning about. It should then be re inforced by their parents at home. When a teacher gets a job and is told what his/her salary will be , and then accept the job, then we should assume that 100% of this person will be devoted to this job while at school.Not just work for a few hours and then say well I dont get paid enough to do any more today.
When a child leaves school he should have a basic understanding as to what it will take to make it on hi own once out there, budget , prepare food how to do hosehold task that are part of living.College should that be their choice, although not all are willing or need to go to college,
The person who is willing to learn will find many resourches to learn what ever is needed, if he was taught properly to do so.
No one in these three town are trying to deny children of a decent education, but at this time money is a problem, people are out of work, prices on food go up almost weekly, and growing children do eat,and grow out of clothes quickly, it is difficult for many families to make ends meet, and then add the burden of paying taxes only increases their burden. Now is not the time for any more budget increases and the 3 towns have agreed. The school board on the other hand are acting more like teacher union organizer in the interest of teachers, and not of the citizen which have voted them in.they say that pay raises must be for all to bring them all at the same level. They worked last year without this, cnat they do the same? My husband has not seen a raise in 10 years. or an increase in social security benefits in 3 years.
I once lived in a state where town and school taxes came in separately, one bill for the town and one for the school. One year the school tax bills did not get paid because the people had voted them down, and like our town the school board could not come to an agreement, They got the message.
older people are struggling(yes there are seniors living in our towns, and are tax payers) many are worried about the high cost of fuel oil, and food. and the extra dollars a day they will have to pay for school is a
big problem to them. We voted no , but that does'nt seem to be understood, could it be a lack of education?

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