Benjamin Franklin once noted, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” Thoughtful consideration of the public education system must acknowledge that communities and the larger society benefit if the public invests in preparing children for the future by providing a solid education. This is not a goal that is easily accomplished, but people have a moral obligation to work toward it.

In 2004, the people of Maine approved a referendum to provide funding from the state of Maine to local communities for 55 percent of the costs of education. That mandate has never been met. In the 12 years since that directive from Maine voters, financially strapped local communities have been forced to make tough decisions to trim more corners in their public schools, as well as in other local services, and to increase property taxes.

In November this year, Question 2 on the ballot will ask Maine voters to approve a 3 percent surcharge on the amounts of individual incomes that exceed $200,000 in a year. That proposal provides an opportunity to finally honor the mandate that was set in 2004. Voters will consider the proposal to meet the state’s obligation to support the public education system in Maine and to prepare Maine’s children for the future.

I hope others will join me in voting yes on Question 2.

Lynn Ouellette, Jay

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