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Letter: Falmouth school officials respond

Opinion

Letter: Falmouth school officials respond

An ad commenting on Falmouth schools was placed in last week’s newspaper by Michael Doyle. Please allow us to set the record straight:

Mr. Doyle alleges that Falmouth has the highest paid teachers in the state. Fact: While competitive, Falmouth is simply not the leader in the state, nor will the new contract change that status.

He further claimed that Falmouth ranks 24th in the country “if Falmouth was a state” in SAT scores. Fact: The table of SAT score averages across the nation lists participation rates that vary widely. In Falmouth, 98 percent of our students take the SATs. The 23 states with averages higher than ours have an average participation rate of only 8 percent. If you took the top half of Falmouth’s test scores, the school would still easily rank first in the country, “if it was a state.”

There was also a mention in the ad of $74,000 paid to 37 teachers to “tell us what we should pay them,” and that “we pay teachers extra during the work day to tutor students.” Fact: These statements are not true.

Mr. Doyle negatively compares our teacher-student ratio to a partner district. Fact: SAD 51, Cape Elizabeth, Falmouth and Yarmouth all have very similar ratios. All professional staff serving our students are included in the numbers, not just classroom teachers.

After reading this response and reviewing information found at falmouthschools.org, please decide for yourselves if the schools continue to deserve your support on June 8 in the budget validation referendum. We are proud of the accomplishments of our students and thank our teachers for their continued dedication and professionalism. For the second straight year, the Falmouth school budget is not increasing property taxes.

Beth Franklin, Falmouth School Board chairwoman
Barbara Powers, Falmouth superintendent of schools