The students of Maine deserve to have the resources they need in order to prepare them for their futures. As a special education teacher, and after talking with other teachers across Maine, it is very clear that many Maine students are being shortchanged because of a lack of resources.

Students who require specific skills to help them live independently when they are adults, such as learning to cook healhty food safely, are not able to gain this invaluable knowledge as there aren’t resources for them to cook on a regular basis. Without regular practice, these students are not able to retain the skills, thus limiting their ability to live on their own in the future. This inability leads to the need for additional assistance that could have been lessened if the state met their educational obligation.

In 2004, the voters asked the state to pay for 55 percent of education costs. This percentage has never been met and our students are suffering for it. However, over the past six years, large tax breaks were approved that benefited mostly Maine’s wealthiest. It’s time that we invest in our Maine students and give them the skills necessary to become independent adults.

In November, we have a chance to bring more money into schools while providing local property tax relief. Question 2 will put a 3 percent surcharge on incomes of more than $200,000, with all the funds going directly to classroom instruction and supplies. This surcharge on Maine’s most wealthy residents equalizes the playing field — right now those making $40,000 a year and those making $1 million a year have the same tax rate. I urge everyone to vote yes on Question 2 and support our students and our future.

Jill Watson

Manchester


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