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.