Please vote yes on Question 1 of the Belgrade town ballot allowing $15,000 to be spent researching why we should, or should not, remain in Regional School Unit 18.

The local share of the RSU budget is actual dollars raised through real estate taxes and paid to the RSU by the five towns. The difference between the total budget and the local share is the amount of the state subsidy paid to the RSU.

Belgrade pays $13,148 per student for the local share of the school budget and we only have 468 students. Oakland, for example, pays $5,857 per student for 949 students. The RSU local share average cost per student is $7,662. Therefore, Belgrade subsidizes the education of three other towns along with paying for our own.

Not only that, but up until now the RSU 18 debt service has been shared equally between the five towns at 20 percent each. Now, because of a very recent change, Belgrad’s assessment is going to go up, meaning taxpayers will pay more of a share of debt service.

Question 1 on the town ballot, not the RSU ballot, is just the beginning of the process for withdrawal from RSU 18. It allows Belgrade to explore all information to make an intelligent decision whether to stay or use other options to educate Belgrade students.

I urge Belgrade voters to attend an informational meeting at the CFAS on Oct. 30 at 6 p.m., and vote yes Nov. 7.

Penny Morrell