This is in response to Robert Sevigny’s attack on the Auburn School Department (April 23).

A decade ago, the city budget was 40 percent of the municipal tax levy while the Auburn School Department’s was 60 percent. Today, those percentages are virtually reversed.

The average price to educate students in the latest statistics available (2013-2014) showed that Auburn spent $2,056 less per pupil than the statewide average, and $1,109 less than Lewiston. Last year and this year, the proposed School Department budgets rose slightly, but had been either deficit- or flat-funded for more than a half decade prior.

All of that occurred as most items increased in cost.

For example: during the past 15 years, the percentage of students eligible for reduced or free lunch has risen from 37 to 56 percent. Someone/something has had to pay the price.

So, while the superintendent and members of the School Committee have worked diligently to cut every cost possible, reality has finally caught up with them — and the taxpayers of Auburn.

The reality is, then, that either the quality of education deteriorates and the state penalizes Auburn, or the city side budget lives within its means or actually broadens Auburn’s tax base.

Robert Hansen, Auburn

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