On Thursday, the citizens of RSU 18 will vote on a revised budget from the school board.

This has been a troubling and difficult time for all. Unfortunately, some misinformation is circulating, and we are losing focus on the success of our district and the students.

Our teachers are some of the best in the state, and they deliver quality education to students seeking to succeed and become our next generation of leaders, teachers, firefighters and parents.

Our district was $1,000 below state average in the cost per student in 2010-11, and the lowest in central Maine. Graduation rates rose again, putting us above other districts in the region.

When provided with stimulus funds and jobs bill money to keep our budget stable, our administration and school board used it to stabilize our budget during those years as we experienced a sharp reduction in state funding.

Now that money is gone and the state continues to take away RSU 18 funding because of our high property valuation. For years, the state funded 56 percent of funding for Essential Programs and Services; this year, it is funding only 46 percent.

Waterville EPS is being funded 65.9 percent by the state.

The problem is not spending, it’s revenue. Even though this year’s budget is higher than last year’s, it is $800,000 less than four years ago.

That is responsible, multiyear budgeting. The issue is in state funding, or the serious lack of it.

Please come and support the school board and the budget on Thursday. Our kids deserve it. Their future deserves it.

Let’s bring pride back to RSU 18.

Kelly Roderick

Oakland


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