I write in response to the Sun Journal staff story “Growing schools, bigger budgets” (April 20).

Once again, the Lewiston School Committee is trying to justify huge increases in its budget with half-truths.

The need for 57-plus teachers is ridiculous. The added teaching staff will do nothing to reduce class size or help accommodate the growing school population as there is no space in the schools to add classrooms (per Bill Webster, superintendent). It will make the system-wide numbers look better, but nothing else.

The only way class size can be reduced is if parents decide to voluntarily transfer their child(ren) to another school and that’s not happening.

McMahon was expanded a few years ago to help with overcrowding. Sounded good on paper but has yet to make a difference. The same outcome will likely occur with the expansion at Farwell and with the expected available space at the new proposed school.

Also, if adding all these special-needs classes is saving the system $30,000 per student, why are those savings not being used to balance the budget and accommodate the new students?

I encourage the City Council to carefully evaluate the need for a 4-plus million dollar increase in the school budget. Get the complete facts, use common sense and look at the big picture.

I am encouraging the public to think carefully before voting on May 10.

Jacqueline Smith, Lewiston

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