From MSAD #25 to RSU #50 — Where are the Savings?

ImageSeriously?  Where are they?  Let’s don some green eye-shades and look over the numbers.  I know — not my idea of a great time either, but with so much at stake, here…..

I am posting the “Before” and “After” budgets sans analysis because, well, many heads are better than one.  …..and, I confess, all of them are better than mine.

So, without further ado…!

2010-2011 School Budgets Compared

Please share your thoughts and expertise with us in the Comments section!


27 responses to “From MSAD #25 to RSU #50 — Where are the Savings?

  1. A lot more money spent, education has declined for our kids, too!


  2. Where are we saving. We are not. Get rid of the Superintendent, IPads, all the days teachers leave for professional development, waste of money on The Great Schools Partnership, and those are just a few of the things that waste our money. Consolidating has cost us way more money, and I am disgusted with the talking heads that try to say that is not so. Education, lol the only things they are interested in is foolish technology, which has made us dumber (about certain things). Get back to the basics, reading, writing, and arithmetic first. Shame on those who say we have saved money, baloney!


    • The monumental failure of rural school consolidation to save anything is surpassed only by its staggering costs to kids and taxpayers alike. Why does everyone assume it does? They’ll speak of “consequences” Katahdin stays open, but the narrative of the small rural school being “stuck in the past” “..a waste of money” has been soundly rejected by evidence. The time has come to put the burden of proof where it belongs — on consolidation proponents. Evidence that supports them does not exist, as you will see when you demand it.


  3. Pingback: “Where Have All The Savings Gone…?” | Timbered Classrooms...

  4. Amen Anonymous!


  5. 2/25/14 10:00 am the students at sacs was asked to assemble at the aud. they was asked by a team that how they like the idea of consolidation. They were asked to raise there hands. Not one person raised there hand. This team said out loud, this is NOT going to work here. Mr. malone hired them, [ EAT THAT MALONE ]


    • Wow. …just… wow.

      The “team” is right — it won’t work here, but not for the reasons he thinks. It’s the distance. I cringed when Larry spoke to “..duplication of services..” at the recent public forum. I hear they’re “duplicating services” in Alaska, too! What is the point? Consolidation will save nothing, and force us to take money away from things that matter; that give us a return on our dollars (like faculty) and put it into transportation (which hurts kids; stifles opportunity.) These schools are 20 miles apart! …and the children live further apart than that! Distance isn’t free, but these decisions are made as though it is.

      Thank you for this. I will surely look into it.

      P.S. Do you know if this team plans to ask Katahdin students what they think? …or does that matter to them?


  6. Well that must be hard to eat, seeing that the little filly that i no, told me that the same group wanted to come here and do the same. Butt Malone said that wasn’t important. I would like to no the name of them people.


  7. …..and I would like the name of that “team” Larry hired.

    “..that wasn’t important” (sigh) Larry’s view of Katahdin children and their communities in a nutshell. Honestly, you could see it from space, before he had both feet in the door. I have to say I’m surprised he hasn’t seen more pushback from the side the district he has been “financially asphixiating” to further his own, selfish agenda. That could change….


  8. concernedparentalso

    I think people are starting to realize over there, that it wasn’t just a handful over here starting trouble. All they have to do is listen to him.
    Theirs nothing to do with children, or the teachers. Its all about him and his agenda. Just listen to him, here his words and look him in the eye. IT SAYS IT ALL.


    • I was never told it would save money at SACS. Was Katahdin told consolidation would save money?


      • To be fair, while the entire State was promised, ad nauseum, by Gov. Baldacci and Commissioner Susan Gendron that “consolidation saves”, some on the ground knew it would not.

        If consolidation doesn’t save, then why do it? The costs certainly are as well-documented as they are burdensome, both in terms of dollars and loss of control of assets and wealth.

        Worse, consolidation forces cuts in all the wrong places; cuts in things that matter most to student growth, like faculty and programs… …to accommodate ballooning expenses for transportation, and, for some reason, layers of administration, management etc.

        This Board has, evidently, committed to shielding administration/management from the ax, while those who work directly with students are first to the chopping block. Parents and community members have made it clear they want this reversed, only to be dismissed.

        I never could understand, either, why the same Board members who tout themselves as being “tough” on teachers in salary negotiations, take equal pride in paying administrators and managers “above average”. Last Spring, I swore if I heard one more time how hard administrators work, I was going to scream. They do, of course, and I do not mean to detract from them, but there was never a word about teachers. Likening a school to a hospital, teachers and Ed. Techs. are the doctors and nurses…. If you fall ill, or have an accident…. “Sorry we laid off all our doctors — here is an accountant!”


    • Consolidation has never been about children – it’s about money. When some look at Katahdin, all they see are dollars they think they would gain if it were closed and looted — never mind the costs to kids; long bus rides, loss of opportunity…..


    • It is more than “a handful” who object to the “fiscal asphyxiation” of Katahdin, with liquidation as the goal; more than “a handful” who will be hurt…

      You CANNOT simultaneously invest in children, while divesting from the school they attend, especially when you target the most child-centered, vital areas to starve. They can tack on “…for the kids…” to their policies all they like, but no one is buying it. Language like that is meant to obscure rather than enlighten.

      It is more than “a handful” of people who are sick of rising taxes, only to see those dollars go to one school while their own children go without in another.


  9. Looted is already being done by Malone. Just like last year about the
    little school roof. He said $100,000 to fix the roof. Come to find out it
    was only $25,000. Our bus system the best out of both places. 2 years ago. Now half the money goes to the dweeb that he hired 2 watch over our guy, that kept our buses safe. School trips for our grads cut, cut, cut. Theirs no prob.


  10. The Superintendent has, indeed, been very aggressive in the transfer of resources from Katahdin to SACS, likely in as many ways hidden from us as what we can see.

    If he could lug the whole of Katahdin off, like a theif in the night — he would. Some powerful people on the SACS side, too, feel entitled to absorb Katahdin’s resources for themselves. That’s what happens with district consolidation: Everything suddenly belongs to one school, and they resent every penney sent to the other. Ridiculous? Yes, but oft-repeated, and predictable. (It was described to me by Superintendents themselves at a meeting of the Maine Small Schools Coalition years ago.)

    It surprises me that more Board members from the Katahdin side could not, or would not see this naked inequity – could not, or would not fight back. Perhaps they feel it is their role to support the Superintendent, right of wrong (THAT is “wrong”!) Perhaps if they felt more pressure from those they represent BEFORE the big budget meeting when they inexplicably circled the wagons around him, expressing disdain for public opinion.


  11. concernedparentalso

    This is what the school board needs and Malone,and any body that represents his agenda. CONSEQUENCES for there actions.People are watching and i really believe there catching the seriousness of this make believe SUPERINTENDENT.


  12. If every body,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, would just put the kids FIRST in, education, self worth, their happiness, and SAFETY.
    This would all go away. Stand up and just say NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  13. No savings at all!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. One thing we CAN do right now is get on the school board! So sorry that they “bullied” Kim Lane off the Board. We need more people on there willing to represent “our” side of the issue.


    • Yes, we were all appalled by the treatment of Mrs. Lane; the most astute voice for the Katahdin side of the district on the Board.

      The communities surrounding Katahdin desperately need a representative who understands the issue at hand, and respects those he/she represents. No more shrugging of the shoulders “They’ll be mad anyway” or worse, pushing back against the public to try and “put them in their place”.

      For some time, I thought Mr. Knowles was just horribly misguided. (Well, he is when he claims that the same problems would exist in an MSAD as in an RSU — no one was sending your tax dollars North when you were an SAD.) Now? I wonder if he understands more than we think, and just WANTS Katahdin to close. Either way he isn’t listening to anyone but the people who want Katahdin’s money for themselves.

      I hope Sherman can find such a Board candidate, and that our readers will help:)


  15. Unfortunately, instead of moving forward, “our” school system is moving backward!! Why all the cover ups, untruths. (I call them lies) There seems to be so much scrambling around after every meeting, parents are more confused than ever. We’ve made calls to the administration, and we never get the same answer. In fact my husband had a lengthy conversation with our SUPERintendent, regarding a number or serious concerns. We were told that as soon as he had time to “look in to these issues”, we would hear back from him asap, Well, that conversation was last November, 2013, and today is May 21,2014!!! SURPRISE, we’ve never had our “important” phone call returned!!!!! What a shame when you have no confidence in your administration! And we are hearing more and more stories like this, “why go to school board meetings,no one listens”?, why call the school when you have a problem concerning your child”?,”no one cares!! Very,very sad how the futures of our young people are being jeopardized! Unfortunately, for the once popular, “No child left behind”, its now called, How many more children will be left behind!!”


    • Déjà vu! …so where are the unicorns and rainbows they promised us after Benedicta’s school was shuttered? Turns out unicorns aren’t quite as mythical. All I see is even MORE people, peering into Ian’s classroom window, and wondering how they can wring money out of his education and take it for themselves. It’s grotesque! The Board Chair wants to spend Patten’s tax money in Island Falls? ..and you can neither stop him nor vote him out!

      If I may, I would recommend contacting the Superintendent again. Perhaps a follow-up email copied to the Principal and each Board member. The “Time Period to Hear From Citizens” is good too.

      “why go to school board meetings,no one listens”?, why call the school when you have a problem concerning your child”?,”no one cares!!” I hear that too, but leaving them to it and staying silent won’t solve anything.

      The drumbeat to close Katahdin and bring the spoils North precedes this Superintendent’s tenure. He is the hired gun Greg Ryan et. al. brought on Board to get it done.

      Hurting kids along the way? It will be O.K. because there will be unicorns and rainbows in Dyer Brook, right?

      Sooooo…… I hear there will soon be an opening on the School Board soon? How about it?


  16. I like all these (questions) too be asked… however you left one out… why can’t we cut SPORTS. Really they need 10K for new turf grass?.. & were consolidated. So why 2 teams?? Is that really NESACERY? Oh & PLZ stop crying about transportation Costs to school. The state reimburses most of buses fuel expenses & after a service life of 10 years & 125K miles the state reimburses nearly 80% of the cost of a bus. A schools greatest cost is heating. Administration & activities with no reimbursement available. So yes people if you closed katahdin high your 1 less building to heat & maintain. =$ saved. Keep elementary kids in town. @ K.E.S & bus older higher school students to SACS. Very possible. It would just be a shame too lose K.H.S. & some staff. Food costs more. Fuel costs more. Daily living costs more. Is it unreasonable to expect operating a school in today’s world will cost more??


    • 10K for new turf grass? I didn’t know about that. How awful!

      I, too, noticed that the State is a bit more generous with bussing, but you still pay a percentage, and the total would be LOT more than we pay now. If you want to keep little children in town, and ship the older ones out, bus routes that once required only one bus will now need two to take children of different ages in different directions. Why does everyone think it’s O.K. to ship teenagers away? They need their communities too:

      The State also has a way of taking away support, as they have done the past two years. Transportation is but one reason that there are no savings here, and I encourage you to browse “School Consolidation” at the top of the page to look at the research. I hope the Futures Task Force will, too, though I’m not optimistic. It looks like they are treating the two preK-12 campuses like one large one, moving things around freely, which would be costly and impractical for taxpayers, children and families. The schools are 20 miles apart, and though longer commutes are common, we don’t typically pick up 25 of our closest friends along the way, or travel to and from work the way kids do; go home for supper and come back for a game….

      Yes, it would be more than a shame to lose faculty and staff. When you cut one teacher, you are cutting the many relationships with their students where education happens every day. The cuts last Spring shook kids to their (not-so-common) core for a reason. Teachers give taxpayers the most return on their dollars, are an asset to their community and local economy — with which the school system is so deeply entwined.

      The good news? You will find a great deal of agreement on closing a building! Our readers are very supportive of the idea of closing Katahdin Elementary and housing pre-K – 12 at KMHS. All the savings from a building you want, with no increase in transportation costs. The building is in better shape than SACS, so there may be savings in fewer renovations? …and kids still get all the benefits of being educated in their community. The local economy benefits.. …a win-win, really.

      P.S. It looks like you intended to comment on the latest post? ? WordPress has taken on a life of its own, and comments are appearing in odd places. My apologies!


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