My friend speaks my mind.
It is incredibly ironic that the Maine Republican Party, which preaches "personal accountability," is using bills like LD 1376 and LD 199 to try and inoculate themselves against being held accountable by the voters next November for their legislative choices. Our current Republican majority was happy to accept the results of the November 2010 elections, but are not courageous enough to stand before the voters in November 2012 without putting their thumbs on the scale. Only in Maine's GOP-controlled Legislature is high voter turnout in a participatory democracy a problem that needs to be cured.
Mr. Rodzen has identified a common trend in the world of "consolidation": administrations "offering up" instructional staff, but defending top-heavy administrative staff to the grave. People who truly care about the education of children understand that a classroom teacher with an appropriate student-to-teacher ratio and appropriate instructional materials can bring innovative learning and valuable instruction into the life of a child. Unfortunately, class sizes continue to grow as instructional staff are cut, creating more problems in the classroom and poorer outcomes, justifying, at least in the minds of superintendents and administrators, more central office staff to manage the system. Use a community's resources to invest appropriately in the actual classrooms of our children, and watch student progress take off. This would be the appropriate course of action.
Its amazing that we continue to see this story play out around the state and nation: school districts abandoning their commitments to communities, education and their children. How shortsighted of the SAD #44 Superintendent and Board to overlook the value of AES to the people and children of Andover. Its true that you can save $214,000 by closing this building, but at what cost? Education isn't just about money; its also about the impact on the lives of children, like the ones in Andover who are being sold out. When SAD #44 was formed, they made a promise to the people of Andover. Apparently, promises have a price tag... Very sad.