A recent letter to the editor from the Sidney Board of Selectmen indicated that the RSU 18 Board of Directors is not doing its job very well since it didn’t reduce the proposed school budget by another million dollars or so. (The budget has been reduced by almost half a million dollars since it did not pass on June 12.)

The selectmen’s premise is that, since we saved about a million dollars last year with a spending freeze, then it is obvious we did not need that money and should not ask for it this year.

That spending freeze, which had an impact on school supplies and field trips, was initiated for two reasons: Revenue projections were lower than planned, and less state and federal revenues would be available to RSU 18.

School finances cannot just be compared to our own check book and a plan for a weekly income, where we subtract one from the other to see how much is needed for the next pay period.

Being a member of a school board today is a challenging position. The overall budgeting process begins much earlier than the budget vote that occurred on June 12.

We always bear in mind our mission of providing our children a quality education in these challenging financial times.

I resigned my seat on the Board of Selectmen to serve on my local school board; other selectmen also might consider making the change.

I have learned a tremendous amount in terms of what it takes to provide a solid education for our children.

Boards of selectmen compete with the school district for their town’s tax dollars and may not have all the information they need in order to make the correct decisions for our schools.

Elwood Ellis, finance chairman

RSU 18

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