I am hoping that citizens of Regional School Unit 16 will join me in voting “yes” on the school budget on Nov. 8. The future of our children and community must not rest in the hands of those who contort issues and refuse to prioritize education in the community.

The highest-performing schools offer wages competitive enough to attract the best professionals, offer a variety of programs for their students, and have communities that support their work. Great schools are also the foundation of communities that families desire to be part of. They increase the real estate value and attract local business.

In response to tough economic times, the school budget has been significantly reduced (by $1.3 million, compared to three years ago). More than 70 positions and programs have been cut or consolidated. There is nothing left to lose without big sacrifices, which could be destructive to our children and our community as a whole. Possibilities include a reduction in programs, sports/co-curricular activities, reducing transportation, and further increasing our already burdened classroom sizes.

Costs don’t rise only in our homes, but also in our schools. The increasing costs of gas, food, supplies and staff to provide the education that our children need to be competitive in this world are an unfortunate reality. An unwillingness to sacrifice for our children and the future of our community is very shortsighted.

The children need to know that residents value their future. The community should be a place people respect and want to be part of.

Tammy English, Poland

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