The Maine High School Assessment scores were released recently. They reveal that other high schools in southern Maine perform significantly better than Freeport High School. These districts also boast higher graduation rates. They earn “A’s” overall on their school district report cards. Of note, two of these towns, Falmouth and Cape Elizabeth, also have lower costs per student.
How are they getting better results with less cost? Why can’t Regional School Unit 5 do the same? It is not due to our teachers and staff who do exceptional work each day. It is the confined structure of the RSU. Like a harried parent, RSU 5 attempts to “level up” or “level down” the money spent for each town and then exhaustively explain its actions at countless meetings and public forums and on endless reams of paper.
Like sparring siblings, RSU 5 towns spend more time bickering and less time focusing on what is best for our kids. We force staff to take on more work for the same pay in the interests of “holding the budget flat.” We deny services to students who need individual attention to succeed. We then hire middle management and order up expensive canned curriculum. The result is inefficiency and confusion.
In forming RSU 5, we were falsely promised benefits that never came and were threatened with fines that never materialized. We can exit RSU 5, give our towns back local control and budget clarity, and then work as equals to provide the best education for our children.