Letter: No frills in proposed Yarmouth school budget

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We’re supporting the Yarmouth school budget because it meets real needs. The student population is growing. We’ve gone from 1,400 to 1,600 students in the last six years. Several of the classes (e.g., second grade, fourth grade) have sizable population bulges – and classrooms with 22, 23 or 24 or more students. Plus, with a greater number of English Language Learners (we applaud the diversity), kids will get lost.

This budget barely catches up. Yarmouth’s per-pupil spending is only in the middle of the pack among greater Portland and has been dead flat for many years. It hasn’t kept up with inflation. In short, this is a maintenance budget. There are no frills in this budget. And it will actually result in an overall slight decrease in local taxes.

We support education. We support Yarmouth. So we’ll pay our fair share. We will vote yes for Yarmouth.

Tim & Camilla Shannon
Yarmouth 

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  • YarRes

    You applaud the diversity. So do I, but diversity comes in many shapes,sizes,and colors. Yarmouth used to be a classic coastal Maine town. We had old,and young,rich and poor,and everyone in between.We had every walk of life right here in our little town. Not so much anymore. The increases you’re advocating for have slowly pushed a lot of people out of town. Young adults can’t afford to live here. Older people are having a hard time staying here, The lower income is gone, and the lower and mid ranges of the middle class are being picked off, one by one. The upper range of the middle class and the upper class will be the only groups here in a few years. Predominantly white collar professionals. How boring. Where’s the diversity in that? Is this Yarmouth, ME ,or Stepford, CT?
    Also, you say you’ll pay your fair share. That’s up for debate. Many of us think that what you’re pushing for is a quality of education so high that it’s akin to a private school education, but at public school pricing. A private school education is $20,000+ per year per child. Your desire to have this private school quality can only be achieved on the backs of the rest of the taxpayers.
    You call this a maintenance budget. I’m glad you used the word “maintenance”. While most of the Town’s resources have gone to the school budgets for the past few years, the rest of the Town has suffered. It’s gone to pot(hopefully not literally). The rest of the Town needs some maintenance.

    • EABeem

      Getting a private school education at public school prices is a great thing. Don’t knock it. Yarmouth schools are not overpriced and they way outperform most other public school in the state.

      • YarRes

        It’s a great thing , Ed , if your child is getting the private quality for the cost of the public education,but someone has to pay the bill. So if you’re one of the residents doing the heavy lifting , it’s not so good. You must know that , Ed; you moved to Brunswick after your kids were out of school. Remember? And that brings up another point. While you certainly have every right to comment on Yarmouth budget issues, it’s a little odd that you’re so involved in this debate , Ed. You don’t have a dog in this fight. You’ve been following me online from The Forecaster to the Press Herald, back to The Forecaster. It’s kind of odd behavior . So it’s one of two things,Ed : either you’ve got some attachment issues with me, or you’re doing the bidding for the YES group. Which is it, Ed ?

        • EABeem

          I lived in Yarmouth for 32 years. All three of my children went thru k-12 in Yarmouth. I spent six years on the school committee and three on the school facilities committee overseeing the $20 million school bond that passed in 2001. I arranged for the art in the schools and helped build the softball dugouts. I am a deacon at First Parish Church where I pledge to help the children of the church grow. I have too much invested in the Yarmouth school system to look the other way when a bunch of pennypinchers want to start dismantling it. And you may have noticed that I have a weekly column in which I reflect on the life around me. This column is not just about Yarmouth.

          • YarRes

            So you do have some attachment issues,but with the Town and not me…..supposedly.That’s good Ed; admitting you have a problem is half the battle. Now do you have a therapist that can help you with your attachment issues?