Since colonial times we believed that the formal schooling of our youth was one, if not the most, important responsibility of citizens. I live in the town of Edgecomb, and the Edgecomb Eddy School (grades kindergarten to sixth) ranks 14th in the state, providing a high-quality education for our youngsters. Compared to other local schools the Eddy school is far and away the best grade school for miles around. For years, the cost associated with supporting and maintaining the Eddy school has come up each and every year at our annual town hall meetings. Budget issues are real and compelling as 80 percent of the town’s budget is taken up by the Eddy school, as well as the town-financed tuition dollars that must follow middle and high school students to neighboring towns capable of educating these students.

Because of these budget issues, town funding for the Eddy school is on a path to be cut year after year until the only option left may be to close our highly rated grade school. A number of our citizens are determined not to permit this to happen, and while we have just begun the effort, our goal will be to assist the town selectman and its citizens to find the dedicated school funding necessary to avoid what is likely to be a highly negative impact on the future prospects of our children and grandchildren.

Edgecomb’s selectmen are not to blame here. We are all citizens of this fabulous Maine town and they need our help. Those reading this letter understand that Edgecomb is far from alone with regard to this challenge. Therefore, it is my hope that other Maine towns will take similar steps; i.e., get involved, help, volunteer and/or form a school fundraising committee. Let’s not be the generation that shortchanged changed our youth.

John L. Ross