Much of M.D. Harmon’s presentation on school funding griped about the state having to pay their 55 percent for education (“Reform, not more money, for schools,” July 8). I think he concluded in the end that there was no need to put that much money into the education kettle because of better ways to improve results.

He failed to acknowledge education in the 21st century. In his piece, no one defined how the 2013 educational spending in the country was measured by the Census Bureau (Who? Are they in the education business?). If you try to create a database that covers all 50 states, something probably suffers.

Looking at a current school’s organization chart compared to the time Harmon shuffled over the boards, there are social workers, highly specialized programs for kids with severe challenges, and a building that operates later into the night with community-based programs. Bet that didn’t happen then.

It’s all there to help students cope, be successful (that is the goal!) and it costs money. Unfortunately, communities are losing their ability to support the basic family unit; kids need that support and it comes from school districts.

Most school districts in Maine have an annual challenge in formulating, adopting and approving their budgets. In 2013, Cape Elizabeth spent more than the state per pupil cost of $10,021.47 by 15 percent. Because of the high property values, they paid for most of the education costs. But the local voters approved the adopted budget. That’s the way the system works.

F. Gerard Nault

Finance Committee chairman

Regional School Unit 12


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