We have been involved in the effort to consolidate RSU 36 (Livermore, Livermore Falls) and the Jay School Department and support the process and plan that has been developed by the Regional Planning Committee.

Here are the major reasons why we support consolidation:

First, of course, are the serious financial issues we are facing. Along with continued cuts in state subsidy, the two districts currently pay a penalty of about $400,000 for not consolidating. This money, along with the savings from consolidating, must be spent on our local students.

Second, consolidation is important because of the negative effect that declining student enrollment has on the two districts. In an attempt to comply with the state’s Essential Programs and Services, with student enrollment being part of the formula, staff and programs have been reduced. Industrial arts, business classes, home economics and foreign language are some of the programs that have been either reduced or eliminated in our schools because of lack of students or funds.

Finally, the tax burden on our communities must be stabilized. With consolidation, local taxpayers will get the best educational value for every dollar spent.

Change is never easy, but with a well-developed plan and support of the community, we believe that consolidation will create an improved school program for our children and better utilization of tax dollars. Isn’t that what teachers, support staff, administrators, parents and community members really want?

The time has come to support consolidation.

Sally Speich, Farmington

John DiSotto, Jay

Livermore Falls Middle School teachers

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