Recently, I attended two RSU 16 School Committee meetings regarding the budget. I left both meetings frustrated with the people who were elected to assure responsible education of the children and to look out for the interests of the townspeople.
Under the RSU system, there is no invited input from the three municipalities included in RSU 16 or little input from the taxpaying citizens. The School Committee budget group is composed of said committee members and administrators, who hold the children up as a shield while stating that they need more money to provide quality education.
Throwing more and more money at a situation does not necessarily result in a better outcome. The budget proposes a $1 million increase, which results in a tax increase that most people cannot afford.
The School Committee proposes a one-time federal grant and use of money in the fund balance to offset roughly half of the taxpayer increase. The real kicker is that next year, after the one-time funds have been spent, residents would face another increase on top of this year’s tax increase.
The School Committee has, by no means, a responsible budget and was unwilling to make any changes based on public input during the short public process.
The bottom line: The School Committee needs to put away the pixie dust, return to the real world, and go back to the drawing board.
We must vote “no” on May 11.
Larry Moreau, Poland