This piece was originally published after the last RSU 50 Task Force Presentation. We decided to run it again in light of the upcoming Public Forum and subsequent vote.
A quote from a community member, at Monday night’s presentation gets right to the heart of the school consolidation issue:
“We’re always promised all these programs and opportunity but we never see them….”
A number of our readers have shared their experiences with consolidation locally, and, to say the least, disappointment is a common thread woven throughout. That the Task Force believes our local experience with consolidation here will, somehow, make another round easier is laughable. (Seriously, many of you did share a laugh at that. ..might as well laugh as cry right?)
Anyway, Board member Stephan Walker responded before the lady could finish her point, “We can’t do it! We can’t do it!”, forcefully shaking his head with every syllable. (He also made a point for consolidation, likening children to “fertilizer” sprinkled over too many schools…? Wha-? There is enough “fertilizer” thrown around by this Board to grow roses on the table. (sigh) Children are not “fertilizer”…. So why not? (…offer extra programs I mean, not “Why aren’t children like fertilizer?” Our readers don’t need to ask that…). The RSU plan painted a picture of what district consolidation was supposed to provide; promises of sorts :
“Potential opportunities for students” include: World Languages for Grades K-5, Gifted and Talented, AP courses, more and varied opportunities….etc.
You can read it here . You might as well laugh as cry, right? Phil Knowles claimed savings in administration with the formation of RSU #50, but did not provide supporting data. Concerns in the communities surrounding positions that did not exist pre-RSU and relatively exorbitant compensation for some cast some doubt on that, along with unpopular budget priorities. Timbered Classrooms readers have a great deal more expertise in that area than I do, so we leave it to you HERE.
Widespread disappointment was highly predictable to those who did their homework, who looked at the research; the evidence with an open mind.
This Board and Superintendent determined to consolidate, refusing to “even look at” the research, that has all but rejected the well-supported idea to consolidate only the Katahdin side… …is, once again making predictions; promises if you will, about the Rainbow-Farting, Sparkly Unicorns that await your children at the end of a very long bus ride….