“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. “