Thank you to the Maranacook school board and administration for their countless hours creating a budget responsive to student and taxpayer needs. Thank you to Maranacook teachers who worked for nearly two academic years without a contract or step change.

As a teacher’s spouse and parent volunteer, I witness our teachers in Regional School Unit 38 working 50 to 60 hours each week most of the year to mentor, nurse, counsel, organize, feed and otherwise grow our children. They spend vacations grading, planning curriculum and completing continuing education. Contrary to some taxpayers’ assumptions, teachers in rural Maine earn far less than most other health and human service workers with equivalent education. My husband has a master’s degree, 10 years of teaching experience and 20 years in business management. He grosses about fifteen dollars per hour. He is fortunate to absolutely love his job, and our community is fortunate he (like many of our teachers) has dedicated his life to our children.

Given children are our most valuable resource, and our communities are aging, we all need to continue to work together to find ways to both ensure high-quality education while keeping retirees’ tax burden manageable. This is a complex situation that requires thoughtful, educated, long-term vision and multi-year planning.

For the moment, I hope those of you tempted to vote NO on Maranacook’s budget will volunteer weekly in a classroom. Our students need one-on-one support with reading, writing and math. They are hungry for enrichments we have lost because of budget cuts. Come offer your life skills and experience or join the Maranacook Senior Cafe, designed especially to welcome elders and retirees into our school building and community.

Rebecca Dorr

Mount Vernon

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