A few weeks ago, I sent a letter to the Belgrade Selectboard, asking it to form a committee to answer a question: “What is the advantage for Belgrade children to be in RSU 18?” I have yet to get an answer.

At the July 21 selectboard meeting, there was some public objection to forming a committee. It is my impression the reasoning was tied to a perception that my motivation is to drop out of the Regional School Unit. Nothing could be further from the truth. That may be a conclusion of the committee, but it is not my objective. I do not have a personal argument with RSU 18.

I want a committee to look at the issue because I think Belgrade students are getting shortchanged.

Belgrade sends RSU 18 more than $17,000 per student; RSU 18 spends a little more than $11,000 for Belgrade youth, according to the superintendent’s figures. Belgrade sends more than $3 million to RSU 18 that does not get spent on our youth.

I want what we spend to improve education for Belgrade youth. If there is some reason to keep up this inequality, I think we should be told what the advantages are. I understand the state funding formula, but why do we keep being controlled by such guidelines? If the RSU is willing to adjust the funding formula, I’m listening — that would be a great outcome of such a discussion.

I would ask those who are concerned about educating Belgrade youth to come to the next selectboard meeting on Aug. 4 and voice support for a committee to look into the question of the benefits to Belgrade youth to be in RSU 18. I look forward to seeing and talking with Belgrade residents at the meeting.

Howard Holinger


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