Readers’ Discuss….

Discussion-GroupThe following is a reader’s response to a long overdue discussion in our comments section.  We welcome it and your input.  Read the full discussion here:

Comment forum 3 minutes for 3 meetings

“In response to the recent comments and also to hopefully clarify the thoughts and goals of some parents and taxpayers of RSU 50:

We do need the input of former teachers, people who do not have children attending schools in RSU 50, and in general people looking in from the “outside” as we move forward and decisions are made in how to best educate our children in the rsu. As parents and taxpayers, we do sometimes have difficulty not becoming too emotionally attached when making these decisions. However, being a parent of a child in the district certainly warrants reason for us to be very involved.

After several years of meeting and discussing, there is agreement across the district that changes need to be made. Students are ok with the consolidation of peers. There are many friendships across the district ­ this is not an issue. The distance is an issue, removing schools from a community is an issue, and money is an issue. The money is not there no matter which way we go. However, we as taxpayers, young and old, know that the education of our children is very important, comes first, and is our responsibility.

Many of us are not trained to solve these issues, try as we may. What we need is good LEADERSHIP, which has been lacking in the district for several years. We know that our taxpayers support local education. The reason towns are turning towards withdrawal is because there does not seem to be an answer within the RSU and people are frustrated. More money is being spent on administration and in other areas that do not seem to be benefiting the students.

Prior to the RSU configuration, I don’t believe consolidation with SACS was considered a whole lot. So we keep coming back to the issue of things going down hill at Katahdin as a result of basically being forced into an RSU. If taxpayers choose to withdraw and educate their kids another way, that is their choice and they will take the responsibility for that. We do not know if it is possible to house K­12 at Katahdin Middle High School because it has not been researched even though people have asked for this scenario to be looked into. Money was spent on a study that produced the scenarios. What good did that do? We already knew what scenarios were out there. We keep hearing that we cannot consolidate K­12, but no numbers, no dollar amounts, and no information has been given as to why this is not a scenario being researched. Several classrooms were not in use last school year, the bus garage is in the old shop/welding area – there is space available. It should be researched and the information made available to the public. There has to be effective leadership from professionals who are trained. It is not the first time districts have had to face this.

Professionals who put the education of students first and are willing to work with towns and communities could help us reach a viable solution other than busing kids such a great distance and closing schools. We are stubborn, passionate people in this area. That is why we are willing to look at alternatives and not agreeing with decisions being made by the RSU 50 Board and Superintendent. “

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4 responses to “Readers’ Discuss….

  1. I think one of the big issues with consolidation is loss of community. I think empty promises of more classes for kids to choose from, is totally false. I think the biggest issue is an almost 10 million dollar budget. We do not need more money. We are spending too much and it sure isn’t going for the kids. We have too much bureaucracy in our district, poor communication, and a lack of respect for parents. If kids are ao important, why not pare down administration and hire more teachers, and why shouldn’t principals teach a class or two. We get rid of a curriculum coordinator, but we are gojng to hire an assistant principal for more money. Really! Kids have to wait to receive a good education, that is not right. Another thing. Kids are not all the same, stop trying to put all kids in the same box educationally. They all have different needs.
    Money is an issue in education, but spending in our district is a bigger issue.
    Our district can be solid, and sending our kids all the way to SACS is not the answer. The distance is too great!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You are so right! In writing this piece, I did not touch on the spending – thank you so much for discussing that with our readers! Another point to be made is that we have been a solid district, and can be again with the right leadership. Money is being spent…………………….. but are we not hiring a music teacher to replace Mr. Zabierek and Mrs. Cox????? No ads have gone out yet? Is it being spent to benefit the education of the kids??

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    • Hopeful news! I found an ad on Serving Schools for a music teacher for RSU 50 after all. You will find it in its entirety on our homepage. We are not necessarily out of the woods yet though. The post has to be filled….

      Thank you for your astute contribution to our discussion as well. You see the waste; the spending problem that the Board was counting on you missing. Community members like you serve kids and taxpayers well.

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      • We have all been saying there is too much money spent in administration in our district. However the board never seems to listen. And because we want less money spent, they seem to just have to take from the kids. What would be the incentive for a teacher to come to our district? Things are up in the air, the communication is poor, and too much bureaucracy. Teachers want to teach, not facilitate. By the time teachers are trained in some of the educational fads of the day, there will be a new fad. In the meantime kids lose. We could educate for much less, but there always seems to be an excuse, money. Well start cutting in the right areas, and I do not mean cutting anymore teachers. Hire a band and music teacher for Katahdin. That is a start.

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