I am a junior at Waterville Senior High School, and I see positive things happening there on a daily basis. The teachers and other staff members are incredibly helpful and talented, and the student body is responsible and engaged.

Recently, there have been calls from some in the community to cut the school budget. If anything, however, the schools need more money, not less. According to the Maine Department of Education, in 2014-15 Waterville spent $9,218 per student, less than the state average by $1,772 and 206th lowest out of 232 Maine school systems. Since 2007, 15 positions and 27 elective courses at the high school alone have been eliminated because of budget cuts.

Teachers at Waterville do more than what is required of them to see students succeed, and they are doing it with less than they deserve. I know teachers who come in at any hour of the day and take time out of their lives to help students do well. With an even smaller budget, they may not be able to help students in the same way.

Many students who come from poverty become first-generation college students or learn useful vocational skills from the Mid-Maine Technical Center. I have friends who, through their own determination and the support of the public schools, have graduated from high school with opportunities they might not have had otherwise.

By cutting funds and support from the public schools, we are jeopardizing the chances of students to have success in life, and this continues the cycle of poverty for many families. To improve Waterville as a whole, we must support the next generation and give all the students the educational resources necessary to succeed.

Soren Nyhus

Waterville