When we explained the reasons for Harpswell to withdraw from SAD 75 we used precisely correct and “official” statistics, showing how much more Harpswell pays in proportion to the other three towns. These figures were provided to your reporter and were taken directly from materials supplied by the SAD 75 business manager, Steven Dyer.
Superintendent Michael Wilhelm introduced misinformation into the discussion by adding the state (and federal) money to a discussion that involved only the relative contributions of the four towns funding SAD 75. The state and federal monies in question would go directly to Harpswell for the same educational services to its children if it withdraws from SAD 75, as was made crystal clear by Deputy Commissioner of Education Jim Rier on May 7. There is no doubt Harpswell pays a very large share of the SAD 75 budget and would, in my opinion, be better served by independence from SAD 75. We would be better off on our own with parent choice of SAD 75, Brunswick or another, paying at the relatively low state-set tuition rate per student. As Rier pointed out, hundreds of Maine towns have moved or are moving in this direction. This is what Harpswell did before the formation of SAD 75.