In Consideration of RSU Withdrawal…..

BDN – Six Towns Vote to Withdraw from RSU #20


The school; the community in which each one of our children lives, learns and grows is a child’s world.  The composition of an RSU Board by nature, as well as members, however demands that the center of thought and priority be shifted away from our children to, say, Island Falls, (during the budget process.)  It also brings about other decisions that make little sense from a child’s perspective and that of his or her parents.  For instance, Mr. Knowles of the RSU Board, at a recent meeting expressed a willingness to “…throw our kids under the bus..” simply because of the proximity of a school 20 miles away to Region II.  Hurting some children for the perceived benefit of a mythical “average” child is a sad effect of the replacement of local Boards by Regional ones, and, very often an expensive one.   Costs are borne less equally; benefits elude.

There is no “us” and “them”; only children.  Each unique, precious and deserving of the utmost consideration in every single decision.

As you read the following, we ask that you suspend simplistic judgements about those who favor withdrawal, and look to better, more efficient, and more mutually beneficial ways to share.


“…We can’t exist in a union with Belfast, because ultimately they don’t want us. They haven’t ever wanted us, and they weren’t going to take no for an answer. They were either going to close our schools down, or withdraw….”

6 Towns Vote to Withdraw from RSU 20


19 responses to “In Consideration of RSU Withdrawal…..

  1. this would not happen up here, people up here need day-care
    and a ball to kick, they will never vote to with-draw


    • That is a rather insulting portrait of the aspiration of your neighbors, “up here”.

      Children and communities “up here” deserve an optimal, child-centered, affordable education system. The RSU has, predictably, failed to deliver precisely because its Board is less accountable to the very people you disparage.

      However, if YOU want to retain a “ball to kick”, two nickels to rub together and your children educated in the same time zone…. …please give withdrawal a second look.

      I honestly do not understand your angle here, but would like to.

      What do you want to see occur?


  2. parents that want there children educated , not concern who is going to take care of them. or if there going to have sports to play all the time. do not miss understand, sports are good, but when you bass your vote on the idea that larry was going to stop soccer, that is sad. the 30 more people that said what about after school programs, what will we do with them if he stops that. just make sure YOU check with your town office to make sure that you no im telling the truth. if they were concerned about education, why have they allowed to be so behind in the state. but i no one thing, the truth sucks!


    • I am a parent who wants our children educated; who sends them to school ready to learn and knows that smaller schools often afford children a greater opportunity to play; a greater chance of landing finite spots than in a large one.

      I do not care about school colors, and was heartened when towns stepped forward to offer opportunities for kids through their recreation budgets to take the pressure off school finances. I agree that much more is demanded of schools in terms of raising children than our meager budgets allow, and it is frustrating. Our oldest for instance, loves music, art and STEM. …in other words, he faces the deepest cuts.

      Often it is consolidation opponents who are accused of being driven by sports, but here it is clearly the opposite. …a woman thankful for consolidation so the school was large enough to field a baseball team for example. …but even she favors it ONLY to the extent that other people’s children are bused to HER community and does not appear willing to close her own school and bus kids to Houlton to achieve the size consolidators deem satisfactory.

      At the moment we have people so focused on changing school sizes they are governing the sized schools our children attend VERY badly.

      So you are saying people “voted” based on Larry’s threat to cut the soccer program? Voted where, for the budget? …or would not vote to withdraw because of soccer? This would make no sense because if Katahdin communities withdraw, Larry has no say…..

      Sorry. I am still not QUITE following you. What SHOULD our readers do?


  3. Common sense, i no that this is a real bad word. I do no pattern freaked out when malone said, [ we will have to CUT soccer] If our great, great, great grand-parents did what these people did when they voted yes, this great country and our freedom would not be here. Back in the day the people would have thrown him and the board out on there ASS. This is crazy basing your vote on this shit. People try to be so politically correct all the time they sell them self’s down the tube. Yes i do agree, if the people really cared, this school would not be so far behind. You talk to people and they all say,,,,,,,,,,I VOTED NO. Breaking news,,,,, some body voted YES. Now look what you have, he has move to the next step.
    If every body thinks that he is going to take these teachers with him,,,,,,,,well good luck with that. He wants young teachers fresh out of collage. Back in my day they called it a CHEER LEADING SQUAD. Teachers that have some years is the best. He will not allow that, they no more than him. Stating the truth is not insulting, it is REFRESHING.. I think there angle is they are sick of hearing crap when the people that voted yes is the people he talked about. There is no body to blame but the people that let this happen. From the state house to sacs. PERIOD


    • Thank you for the info. So there are those in Patten who voted under duress of Larry’s threat to cut soccer? I missed the budget process, but have no vote anyway. Good to know.

      I have been struck by the confusion of some between “respect” and “deference”; telling this Board, in a dignified tone, what they NEED to hear rather than what they WANT to hear is not “disrespectful at all but civic responsibility – something our grandparents understood so much better than we do, as we are expected to “…vote with our dollars..” like passive consumers rather than citizens.

      There is no way to communicate with this Board WITHOUT pearl-clutching gasps no matter how perfect our manners. They do not get that they are entitled to basic human respect – NOT reverence.

      Now. Yes. He does want new teachers and was gallingly open about this, telling the Board, as they searched for savings, that “..once the new teacher evaluation systems are in place you will be able to save more money cutting ‘ineffective’ teachers but for now you have to cut cheaper ones…”

      It is nice to have a mix of older, Master teachers and new professionals – all good of course and well paid. Unenlightened Boards pay no attention to teacher quality, opting instead for expensive yet mediocre scripted curricula, apps and Marzano snake oil. …easier to control than a real faculty.


  4. Good morning, just wanted to tell the readers the new info.
    We have lost two more students this week. Because of the policies that have over come our students, and teachers. Students being told that they can not draw, classes being split in to, two separate groups. [ smart and no so]. I sit here and half to wonder, what in HELL is going on. Teachers being told by larry to go after certain students. I half to say, that yes vote was great. But i heard they got a new ball, i guess everything is great. BUT IT IS WORKING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    • Oh, dear. Where did they go? How sad that they, and other children are being so poorly served.

      It is full-steam ahead for closing Katahdin; a continuation of a thus-far two-year process that intentionally skews priorities and shortchanges students in order to make the targeted school appear to be not worth saving; to make it appear there is no other choice….

      They didn’t fool our readers.


  5. Good morning, UPDATE, one more leaving next week. We have a hell of school system. I’m so glad that the people voted YES, it just makes me warm and fuzzy. Now were turning the bend in the road, more tax payers with no kids in the school system are paying for what??????????? For who??????? Why????????? Good teachers getting the BOOT,,WHY?????
    Kids being targeted,, WHY??????????? a school board designed to represent the tax payers for WHAT??????? Is there anybody seeing the problem???????? OK its me, they got a new ball,, got it, some time i can be so selfish, [ sorry] lost my head.


    • Board budget priorities continue to spark concerns and outright frustration, as a recent anonymous letter from a reader will illustrate. I will try and publish it this morning, as the author would like to hear from fellow readers.

      Though the RSU model makes it more difficult for citizens to control the fate of their children and tax dollars and children, it can be done . The budget process is but one avenue, and, of course, there is RSU dissolution.

      There are those who are trying to determine where the money is going in this district, and, though tracking expenditures is proving extremely difficult relative to pre-RSU budgets, attendance at finance committee meetings, that immediately precede regular Board meetings, has been recommended to us.

      If the numbers of people who express support for our position is any indication, then, absolutely you can improve the lot of children and taxpayers. Those who are biding their time, though, and waiting for the ballot box are making a grave mistake. These budget priorities not only reflect values that respect administration over the teaching profession (that will not be corrected with consolidation) but also that are designed to make it appear that Katahdin is dying a natural death. Though our readers know it is being killed by poor choices, it could be dead before voters are allowed to weigh in.

      The time to build a robust, thriving local education system is now. Timbered Classrooms is here for you and we wish you well.


  6. Oh,,,,,,, forgot 1.2 million for less kids,,,,,,,,Got it..


    • Centralized bureaucracies do not shrink; they grow. That is why administrative costs dwarf EPS recommendations in spite of the cries from the community to shift those resources to teachers and the classroom.

      Part of the problem is the RSU model itself, which eliminated local Boards. The other is Board values.


  7. Hey JT, it is really sad, and you are so right. The people should have turned there being scared into being mad, and voted no. Watch the taxes fly next year, he needs that new school to teach the hand full that is left. This is so stupid.


    • You are right. People WERE scared. The Superintendent said the lower budget would be devastating to kids, and though I believed him too I also believe that harm would have come from Board choices; choices over which I believe the communities can and should exercise more control. You need not wait for budget time, but contact the Board, preferably in a public way, copied to everyone and even the press. Correspondence regarding what the Board needs to hear, rather than what it wants to hear has a way of getting “disappeared”.

      It is worth the effort because all subsequent decisions from a Board that respects its accountability to the public will be more sensible.


  8. hey mr.t are you around. just want you to no that back 4 to 6 months ago you said that the board was meeting with-out one of there members. you took some slack for that. some said there was no way they could because it was breaking the rules. when that was said my wife and i laugh. well last night both of us found out, it was happening and more than a few times. just wanted to tell you, you was right. and when you said the task force was a bunch of shit, you were right. it was told in front of us at the town office last night. it was created to keep all the people away while he lined things up. island falls office is the official site, for all the meetings, and sherman is not welcomed.
    just thought some one should tell you. p.s. by the way, we love the ball comment, and the day care statement. you are so right.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Ha! ya, well its sad in a way because all the yes voters really believed he was god. I feel really bad for the people that was involved in the ” TASK FORCE” the covering they did for that fool. I only say what i no, and when you deal with a man like him, watch out. The teachers want to go on HIGH alert. It is not going to be nice. Once again, our children are being ROBBED.
    But deep down every body is. I also went and looked at all the postings in the last 10 months, how they got a YES vote out of that, i will never no. Thanks for taking the time to speak up.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes voters felt intimidated…. I am afraid backing down only made matters worse. I guess it’s my egalitarian view of the world that makes deference to authority, even when it is wrong, so frustrating. ….and when it is imaginary! Don’t get me started….

      The good news is that, though budget time gives voters more leverage than other times, they have quite a bit of power now. You have the power to reject their vision of bussing your children and money. Withdraw from the RSU, change the cost-sharing formula if you cannot do it before they close Katahdin. Ultimately it is about your children and you can seek out all options for them, in or out of the district… Get town leaders and State Reps to help….


  10. I think that come hell or high water, if/when KES/KMHS has to join up with SACS into one school, my 2 kids will then either be transported by me, to Houlton or home schooled. I will not have my kids who already are getting on the bus and off the bus in the dark extend their rides any longer. These idiots yes, that’s right Walker Brothers, you are big, big, big IDIOTS, have no concern about the kids but how they can line their wallets. They have been taught that their whole lives and are not about to change now.


    • There is no “if” about it. Katahdin will close unless the community intervenes. We all must do what we can for our own children – we are exploring alternatives because every child deserves a school deemed worthy of long term investment.

      It can be hard to balance personal choices and civic responsibility, but it is important to pursue both.

      There has been interest of course in withdrawal, but also in changing the cost-sharing formula, because at the moment, Patten taxpayers will be paying the RSU regardless of the number of children it sends. Your taxes will likely rise with consolidation expenses.

      We wish you well.


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