2013-03-08 / Letters

Know the facts before going to polls

To the editor:

On March 26, the voters of Kennebunkport will have the opportunity to reaffirm their longstanding participation in one of Maine’s highest performing school districts by voting no on the question to authorize funds to explore leaving Regional School Unit 21. In a recent letter, Sheila Matthews-Bull reported that the Kennebunkport selectmen were not unanimous in their vote to support such a measure and the Budget Board failed the motion on a split vote. It seems these individuals are trying to tell us something.

Recently, the town of Arundel went through a similar experience, voting to expend thousands of dollars on a private study that resulted in findings that were already presented by our school administration – namely, that RSU 21 is much more efficient than the municipality could be alone and that the standards being met by our students are among the highest in the state. Why would we want to expend funds on another private study to tell us exactly the same thing in Kennebunkport?

If Kennebunkport were to vote for this expenditure, just to be told once again that it would be more expensive and less advantageous to form a municipal school district, we would then be forced to vote on withdrawing from the RSU one final time and that vote would require a two-thirds majority. Is it reasonable to think that twothirds of our citizens would vote to withdraw from an outstanding school district where our students attend the only International Baccalaureate Middle School in Maine and graduate from a high school that routinely performs in the top 10 percent statewide? Where would we contract to send our students if we were no longer aligned with RSU 21? We encourage folks to look around and find a more desirable situation than the one we currently have. When doing so, one need only look next door to Arundel to see that the costs for sending students to another high school are much higher than tuition alone, as we must also pay all costs for transportation and special education, bringing the per pupil cost above our districtwide average.

Matthews-Bull stated, “This is your town and your tax dollars.” To that we would add, and your children and their education.

Being part of one of Maine’s highest performing school districts is a benefit for our students and for all property owners in town. We are confident that the voters of Kennebunkport will know the facts before heading to the polls and in so doing will vote to remain with the RSU.

Norm Archer, Bob Domine and Maureen King, RSU 21 board of directors Kennebunkport

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