2014-01-17 / Letters

Current buildings don’t reflect community values

To the editor:

Today I mailed my absentee ballot to support RSU 21’s school renovations – and I urge you to do the same. The bottom line: our current buildings don’t reflect our community values. We are a community that values education, our schools and our children, and yet the reality is that three of our facilities face long overdue repairs, updates and enhancements.

This lack of alignment and disconnect between what we say we value and the state of our facilities will come at a cost. When potential residents and home buyers view our schools they don’t see what’s in our hearts and minds, they see our neglected, outdated facilities.

When the most talented principals and teachers in Maine choose where to work they compare our district to other top-performing ones and notice the undeniable difference in facility quality. The price tag is neither insignificant nor irrelevant and will likely cause some real pain (especially here in Kennebunkport where our taxes just increased last year due to the new school funding formula).

Long-term investments often hurt in the short term; but neglecting to make those long-term investments undoubtedly hurts more.

As a proud Consolidated School parent, I have always said that I care less about the quality of the building than I do about the quality of the teaching and the education – which at Consolidated has been stellar. But at some point we must care about the quality of the building, and that time has come. Our board, superintendent, principals, teachers and students consistently do their part to ensure the delivery of the highest-quality public education available; now it’s time for us to do ours.

Let’s give our students and educators what they need and deserve to get the job done in today’s competitive global environment.

Yes, we may feel pain writing a slightly higher check each month, but when the project is complete we will share the peace of mind and security that comes from knowing that we did right by our town, our kids, and our collective futures.

Gaby Grekin
Kennebunkport

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