Letter: Don't sacrifice SAD 51 teachers

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Across the state, schools and social service organizations are restructuring due to Maine’s revenue shortfall. School Administrative District 51 is no exception. We’ve seen significant emotion around the discussion of this year’s school budget, as people express alarm at both the proposed property tax increase and the loss of teachers in our system. The issues are complex, but I write to remind our community how critical strong educators are to the success of our schools.

Our teachers spend more time with our children than most of us do as parents, and are the backbone of our schools. With an excellent teacher, we can strip away almost all the extras and kids will learn. I’m supportive of responsible spending, but there is no more valuable resource than our teachers. Let’s all remember the faces that comprise the teacher collective. They are the people who organize and facilitate the structure of our children’s day, share our kids’ strengths and challenges at parent-teacher conferences, and celebrate our children’s accomplishments throughout the school year. They motivate our kids to be the best they can be, and pick them up when they fall.

When I refer to “our” children, I don’t just mean mine or yours. I mean the youth of our community. SAD 51 should remain a system where exceptional educators aspire to teach.

Martha Leggat
North Yarmouth