The state’s ill-conceived idea of forcing towns to consolidate school districts has brought questionable cost savings. Many towns have not only lost control of their schools and have lost the center of their community, but they have had the further insult of continuously escalating taxes. More importantly, forced consolidation has driven a wedge between towns that once worked cordially and collaboratively together on many issues. By withdrawing from Regional School Unit 5, Freeport will be taking the first step in reversing the damage.
The Dec. 17 vote should not be considered simply a vote for Freeport to withdraw from the RSU, but a vote for moving the schools of all three towns forward again. Freeport residents can set the stage for the dissolution of the RSU. After the withdrawal is approved, school and town leaders of Freeport, Pownal and Durham must work to create an even better environment than we enjoyed before.
All three towns need to make the maximum use of tax dollars, and we should continue the sharing of services and costs where practical. Freeport, Pownal and Durham students will continue to attend Freeport High School, and it is in all of our best interests to make FHS the best school that it can be. Though the RSU 5 community is full of terrific students, great teachers and involved parents, we really need to examine why many parents (my wife and I included) have children going to high schools other than FHS. What is missing? What can be done better?