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Old 01-17-2008, 02:26 PM
 
Location: Maine
5,969 posts, read 11,134,540 times
Reputation: 5240

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My kids have been tuitioned for 10 years. There's no difference in how they've been treated. If kids are being treated worse because of what town signs a warrant someone should be kicking and screaming about it. That's not fair to the kids who live in the towns that have schools.

All public schools are subsidized by the state.
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Old 02-27-2008, 08:22 AM
 
Location: Northern Maine
9,494 posts, read 14,291,662 times
Reputation: 8924
Buckle up folks. She's going to be a bumpy ride. Next Monday, March 2, at 6 PM the state education functionaries are coming to Lincoln to present the bill for consolidation. Each and every town in the new RSU 17 is required by law to "contribute" $2,000,000 to the startup costs. Nick Sambedes wrote all about it in today's Bangor Daily News. Just picture the small towns like Drew, Webster, Springfield, Lakeville, Chester and Woodville kicking in $2 million each. Lincoln doesn't care. They will get the money.

Here's how the new 15 member school board will work. The RSU will be broken up into 4 wards. Each ward will get one member on the 15 member board. The other 11 members will be elected at large. That means that all 11 members could be from Lincoln. Does anybody think that the three Route 157 towns will come together and vote as a bloc to elect a representative or two? They can't even defund MAGIC or Magic. The three towns will be required to kick in a total of $6,000,000 to be allowed to join RSU 17. Then they will lose ownership of the land, buildings and all equipment they have already paid for. I still think that $6,000,000 is real money. What about the tiny towns like Medford, Lowell and Bancroft? Don't you just love the way Augusta thinks? Is there any doubt about what the end result was supposed to be when this plan was first formulated?

Get today's BDN and clip the article. It's on Page B1 and continues on B5. I recommend that the poeple of the Penobscot Valley fill that room on Monday night, rain or shine. The meeting will be at the Region 3 headquarters on West Broadway in Lincoln. It's the large brick building that used to be the woolen mill. Parking will be limited so bring as many friends as you can in your vehicle. Drop off your passengers and fill those side streets. They could have had the public meeting at Mattanawcook Academy where there is a huge parking lot. Do not be deterred. Fill those side streets with vehicles. Augusta chose the site because they knew that access was limited. Don't let them limit you.

$2,000,000 per town folks. $2,000,000!

Susan Gendron likes it. John Baldacci likes it. Do you like it?

By the way; Several years ago when the state gave a grant to Lincoln to build an enormous bus garage, Lincoln was surprised and asked, "Whyso big?" It would service five times the number of busses that Lincoln needed. The state guy just smiled and said, "You're going to need it." Angus knew. The plan has been in place for many years. Lincoln is a designated "core service community". Millinocket is planned to be a "gateway community".
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Old 02-27-2008, 12:37 PM
 
8,760 posts, read 16,110,134 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acadianlion View Post
I think that this educational hornets' nest has stirred up a lot of noise, and something will be done about skyrocketing educational costs in Maine as a result. The turmoil has only begun, but already we are villifying the guy who caused it: the governor. I think this is short sighted.

The real issue is that Maine as a state spends entirely too much money. There are two main culprits in the spending of Maine peoples' monies. One is the legislature or sheer size of government, and the other is the state's educational system. If a system mandated by government is such that the taxation resulting forces people who have lived on their land and in their homes for years and years are forced to move to more modest accomodations, then the system is flawed and should be corrected.

If Baldacci has tried, IN HIS SECOND AND LAST TERM, to make a meaningful change in the size and shape of government, he would have been stopped dead in his tracks by the entrenched bureaucracy. He chose to attack the overbloated and far too expensive education system in Maine, and thus will reap some sort of result. Maybe good, and maybe bad, or a mixture of both, but the problem is the system is far too expensive for a state of 1.2 million people to afford. Too many bureaucrats, too many buildings, declining school enrollment, too many miles to travel, too many oil fired boilers to fuel, and NO commercial development to help to pay taxes to relieve the homeowner from shoulder the entire burden.

If true reform without pain and suffering by school children is desired, then the impossibly expensive "special needs" mandates of Augusta need to be repealed, and the unrealistic and utopian expectations of the the state's department of education need to be refined to reflect the local community and the individual property owners' ability to pay for them.


Excellent post Acadianlion and right on the money! My brother is a High School Guidance Counselor in the mid Maine area. He has said for many years the biggest problem with lack of funding for schools is the number of over-paid administrators and the sheer number of school districts in the state. Change is never popular and someone always gets their ox gored. But doing nothing as the State buries itself in more and more debt is not the answer either. Schools need to conserve whenever possible too. Freeport schools take all of their soccer balls to the dump every year so they can get brand new ones. They budget for new ones whether they need them or not. I know a guy who gets a call from the man who runs the dump and tells him when the school has thrown away the previous year's balls. He goes down and fills his pick up truck with the balls and delivers them to area play grounds. He says there's nothing at all wrong with the balls and the kids at the playground love getting them. It's a small thing but when you're looking to save some money a grand or two for new soccer balls every year adds up. It also makes you wonder what else they could do to conserve funds.
The school systems are not the only tax payer funded entities that need to be overhauled. Public works, police,and fire departments should be looking over their shoulders too. Not every town needs a half million dollar ladder truck and S.W.A.T. equipment.
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Old 02-27-2008, 03:12 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
29,723 posts, read 47,495,927 times
Reputation: 17577
Quote:
Originally Posted by Northern Maine Land Man View Post
Buckle up folks. She's going to be a bumpy ride. Next Monday, March 2, at 6 PM the state education functionaries are coming to Lincoln to present the bill for consolidation. Each and every town in the new RSU 17 is required by law to "contribute" $2,000,000 to the startup costs. ...



Thanks.



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Old 02-28-2008, 05:49 PM
 
Location: Maine
5,969 posts, read 11,134,540 times
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I didn't go to the RSU meeting tonight. My vehicle won't start and Steve wasn't able to get up here to get me and get back to the meeting on time. He'll fill me in when he gets home. I'm hoping he doesn't come home with something like the $2,000,000 news.
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Old 02-29-2008, 07:52 AM
 
Location: Teton Valley Idaho
7,395 posts, read 11,510,961 times
Reputation: 5403
What a mess.
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Old 02-29-2008, 05:03 PM
 
Location: Maine
5,969 posts, read 11,134,540 times
Reputation: 5240
Our RSU will have a 20 member board. Each town will have its own voice. This might change eventually. This is the only thing that could be accomplished last night.
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Old 02-29-2008, 07:48 PM
 
Location: Northern Maine
9,494 posts, read 14,291,662 times
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The state has decreed that our RSU will have a 15 member board. There will be 4 wards. Each ward will elect a board member. The other 11 members will be elected at large. Lincoln could end up with all 11 members because Lincoln has its act together. They understand how to vote as a bloc. The Millinocket area towns fight among themselves which could leave them powerless.
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Old 03-01-2008, 04:10 AM
 
Location: Maine
5,969 posts, read 11,134,540 times
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We hashed out the decision from the second meeting on rather than let the state decide for us. The governance committee worked this out then every town in the RSU had their say and up to three votes. We might change to wards later but I hope not. If that happens my town will be sharing one vote with seven other towns.
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Old 03-01-2008, 11:58 AM
 
2 posts, read 3,289 times
Reputation: 14
Default School Consolidation: where's the proof?

Maine went through a round of school consolidation back in the 50s or early 60s. Before we support a second verse of this tune, why don't we take a look at the results of that old consolidation, economically, and from the perspective of taxpayer and parental control? In Searsmont, the town ended up paying for a new primary school building, and middle and high-school students ended up getting bussed 12 miles or so to the County seat, Belfast. That was when gas was about 15/gallon. I've spent much of my life around academia, and in my opinion, the Searsmont residents who went through the village school system got a far better education for their parents' tax dollar than do those who now spend two hours a day on the bus.
This kind of bureaucratic manoeuvre generally ends up with a larger bureaucracy, and higher taxes, but produces an inferior education.
On the other hand, if Maine's students were better-educated, they would know not to buy lottery tickets, and not to support politicians who cripple local economies with unfunded mandates. Then some of Augusta's politically-driven welfare bureaucracy might still be on welfare, but at least they'd be out of our hair and our wallets except at the food bank.
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