Shame on Lewiston School Committee members, in particular chairman Mark Cayer, who felt that the”high school mock judicial trial team’s request of $19,000 is a lot for the team to travel to Athens, Georgia, to attend national competition against 46 other high schools across the country on May 16 and 17.”
Fortunately, a majority of the committee voted to approve $16,000, leaving it to the team to raise the rest. That’s a lot of 5-cent bottles and cans, or cookies and cupcakes sold at bake sales.
More disturbing is the fact that committee members Tina Hutchinson and Tanya Whitlow voted against the $16,000 expense.
Chairman Cayer pointed out that the team’s $19,000 request was not a previously budgeted item, and yet extra travel for playoff and championship games for athletic teams — fortunate to extend their seasons — is somehow anticipated. Can’t travel for the mock trial team to such an important academic competition be allocated similarly when so much is spent on travel for athletic teams?
During my two publicly-elected terms serving on the Lewiston School Committee in the 1990s, Superintendent Bob Connors (the best Lewiston schools ever had) always found funds for a worthy cause that hadn’t been previously budgeted.  I suspect that extra money was hidden in one of Superintendent Connors’ shoes.

This matter just shows how much some of the current Lewiston School Committee members value athletics over academics when committee members’ primary responsibilities should be the best interests of all students, teachers and support staff.

Louis Talarico, New Gloucester