Region 9 board sends budget to voters

MEXICO — The Region 9 School of Applied Technology board unanimously approved drafts of the secondary and adult education 2012-13 budgets Wednesday night. They show 2.5 percent and 4 percent increases, respectively.

The Finance Committee's proposal eliminates a full-time English teaching position, which means each vocational course must now include some activities for which students can earn English credit.

For the past couple of years, English has been taught to students who couldn't schedule it into their first period at high school.

The current operating budget is $2,085,827; the 2012-13 proposal is $2,137,890. The increase is prompted by higher heating oil costs and creation of an educational technician position to assist where needed.

The adult and community education budget proposal is $321,364, which is $35,838 more than this year. Taxpayers would pay only about $170,000 of the total figure. Grant money, carryover funds and enrichment class tuition would pay the rest.

The increase was prompted by the need for additional custodial help, higher health insurance premium costs, and replacement of the head adult education teacher.

Public hearings on the two budgets are set for 6 p.m. March 29 at Telstar High School in Bethel and 7:30 p.m. March 29 at the vocational school in Mexico.

Residents will vote on the budgets at 6 p.m. May 2 at the River Road school.

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Another Ed tech

School systems are over burdened with Ed Techs. There was no such person years ago and classrooms had anywhere from 30 to 50 students. The teacher went in early and left late. They didn't get the pay deserved then but they get the pay today. Ever since teacher pay increased teachers have decided that they need Ed Techs. Where has dedication gone to? Get more money give less dedication and lessen the work load. If the modern day teacher would have taught in the 50's, 60's they would have left the profession after a year. Do less for more doesn't seem right.School enrollments are declining. Teachers get paid well now but work with fewer students. The tax payers complain about tax increases but Boards will not merge schools and fill the classrooms with maximum students per class. In doing so the schools could offer more courses. I see better education taking place in doing so. RSU 10 Board is being influenced by a few and not looking at the positive results that could happen. If schools want to pull out of an RSU then let them. Change is hard to swallow by some but a necessity. Sports classes should not even enter the picture when weighing education. Stay the same and offer less. Or combine and offer more.
Where this RSU goes is up to the voters. Remember what has been stated. Good salaries less work because schools seem to think additional Ed Techs are the answer. I don't think so. Dedication by the best who do it all without assistance because they care about the student. Test scores show that ed techs don't help test scores. A good teacher and parents who want the best for their child elevate test scores. Kids don't learn if the offerings are not there ; if the teacher doesn't teach and the parents show no interest in their offsprings learning properly. One more thought, stop teachers from teaching to the test and taech all that needs to be learned to succeed.

Jeff Bailey's picture

A different point of view

I respectfully disagree with your outlook on Ed. Tech's Mr. Diconzo. I have worked with you in the past and I do value your opinion on educational matters, however I feel your perspective doesn't take into account the demands made on the teacher and educational system in general. I will not venture a guess as to the exact time period you attended public school, but I can assure you that things have changed. There are more unfunded mandates on schools now then ever before. In the time when students were 30-50 in a class, there was no requirement that students with special needs be served in the way they are today, no requirement that students pass the SAT (that's right that's the test Maine high school students are supposed to pass to prove their school is competent), no requirement that a diploma be necessary for gainful employment, and no pressure from the state to get all students "college ready". I am not saying I agree with all of the mandates handed to us by the politicians, but I do say that that work takes time and people to work one on one with kids to meet the ever increasing standards students are now required to meet. That is why ed. techs are so important. They provide the individual attention students needs and often see students in multiple classes (providing a constant adult from which a student can receive help ). I think there need to be other ways to bring down the cost of school budgets, but anything that can be done to at least maintain the level of instruction and support available to students should be considered. Why not fix the heating systems in some of the schools (some from the 50's and 60's) so they don't require teachers to keep their windows open all winter? I fully understand that money is tight and that changes have to be made, we just need to keep in mind that education is centered around the needs of children and that should be our focus.


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