Auburn vote can wait

The taxpayers of Auburn need to decide what to do with the aging Edward Little High School. There is nothing more important than children’s education. The question of exactly what to do is complicated, but some level of repairs — renovation or rebuilding — needs to be done to improve the school’s condition.

The state Department of Education told Auburn’s School Committee recently that if Auburn goes ahead with its planned city-wide vote on the school, Auburn’s application for state funding for the renovation or new construction would not be considered. The projected costs range from $48.7 million to $61.1 million. Much of that could be funded by the state’s recently-revived school construction funding program … if residents forgo the vote and wait to see where the project ranks on the state’s list for funding. The decision could come in 18-24 months.
Can residents afford to gamble and throw away the chance for millions of dollars of state funding to help pay for the new EL? Is 18 months too long to wait for an answer?
This isn’t Las Vegas. Auburn is a community of hard-working, informed and committed people who want to do the right thing and give their children the very best education that can be afforded. Can taxpayers seriously consider throwing away the chance to receive state funding for the majority share of the cost of a new EL? 
Sharon A. Millett, Poland Spring

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