How long has The Forecaster been the public relations spokesman for the South Portland City Council and the School Board, printing one-sided propaganda? The facts that should have been reported back in June include the following: South Portland’s 2008-09 school budget is 26.7 percent more than Scarborough, at $13,054 per student compared to $10,307. In total, South Portland is spending $8.4 million more than it would spend if it cut its costs to match Scarborough ‘s per student cost. Included in this $8.4 million is $2.9 million of excess administration costs. In addition, South Portland ‘s 2008-09 budget was $7.1 million more than the State EPS standard, while Scarborough ‘s budget was $600,000 less than the EPS standard. South Portland ‘s tax rate for the 2007-08 year was 25.5 percent more than Scarborough and 13.9 percent more than Cape Elizabeth. Those are the facts, now for my opinion: The proposal by the City Council to set a 2009 school budget target based on a 3.5 percent tax increase is totally irresponsible.
Albert A. DiMillo Jr