“If At Twice You Don’t Succeed….”

image“…do it the way voters told you to in the first place!”

Yes, “voters” – remember them?  Those the Chairman admonished, “I don’t work for you! I work for the State!”  So is it the State voting down the budget then?

Most of our readers are aware that I have no vote here.  I share the concerns of those who rejected the cuts as harmful to kids.  I also share the belief that prioritizing spending in the way successful small schools do would negate the need for further austerity at the child’s level.  It bears remembering that some of those calling for cuts are the same people who gave the Board $100k last Spring for instrumental music and physical education faculty.  I am grateful to them for that and reject the mindlessly simplistic “kids vs. money” narrative put forth by the local press.

Sadly, emulating effective small schools is not the goal here, and spending priorities, among other things, reflect that.  Differences between the Board and community go beyond spending priorities to the goal; the vision itself. Thriving, effective small schools? …or a shift in investment to one?  The agenda long decided, the Board has not only failed to admit it publicly and open up debate, but also to recognize the rights of communities to resist it or even question policy makers.

The meeting at the Island Falls Municipal Building, tomorrow night, Tues. Aug. 19th offers voters a chance to build bridges with those in whom we entrust our children’s education. These decisions are too important to sit out.

Thank you to our now 104 readers, whatever your position, for caring about education in the region.

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2 responses to ““If At Twice You Don’t Succeed….”

  1. Will they actually listen to what the people want? Sadly I doubt it. The budget is too big! They can educate more efficiently and with less cost, but they will not. If the Superintendent cared about kids, he would not have taken a raise. Educating our kids well does not have to cost this much. Also stop telling us we don’t care about kids! That is a lie. We all care about kids. The issue is spending, and asking for too much money. The Supetintendent has a lot of nerve coming back to the people for more money. Take a cut in pay not a raise. The board and the Superintendent need to be honest, have some integrity, and be fiscally responsible.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s hard to believe this Board would listen, and that is why the call for new Board members is so pervasive.

      But to paraphrase a famous and favorite quote, “How do you make elites afraid of you?” …we focus too much sometimes on getting the “right” people into these positions when we should be cultivating a healthy respect betwen Board and community.

      The Chairman’s insistence that he “…doesn’t work for you” would surely sound bizarre to knowledgeable Boards who dread defying their communities. That’s why, for example, phone calls and letters were sufficient to take the closure of Searsport High School “off the table”. (If the Board had any interest in Katahdin, members would look to small schools like this and emulate them – instead of Spruce Mountain, Mt. View and Rockland… )

      Sometimes even good Boards defy the public, so if you want to optimize Katahdin’s potential you will have to fight for that opportunity.

      Seizing the purse strings the way you have is a good start, but a start nonetheless.

      Like

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