Sadly, our Town Council rubber-stamped the proposed school budget. The superintendent presented his wish list to the School Finance Committee. From there it went basically untouched to the School Board, Town Finance Committee and council. Our council continues to function as the ultimate school booster club. The council seems to have forgotten they represent all the citizens of Scarborough, not just the minority that have school-aged children. The council has a greater responsibility; the financial health of the town and its residence.
Please consider these important facts:
• The proposed budget includes $1.6 million of “leftover” funds from the Wentworth School construction bond issue. Without this windfall, taxpayer funding of the schools would have increased by about 9 percent.
• The proposed budget requires a $2.1 million increase in taxpayer funding of the schools. That’s a 5.5 percent increase over last year. The current inflation rate is about 1 percent. The Social Security cost-of-living increase this year is zero.
• In spite of a loss of $1.1 million of State education aid, school operating expenses are being increased by $2.3 million or 5.3 percent.
Vote on no 1. The Council works for you.
Vote yes on 2. Maintain your right to vote. Every three years the State requires the voters of Scarborough to make a decision; continue to have the right to vote on the school budget or give it up and allow the Council to have the last word. Regrettably, several Council members have stated they want the last word. Why would you vote away your right to vote? Once its gone it’s gone. Please vote yes on 2.