Letter: Reasons to back the RSU 1 budget proposal

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The RSU 1 Board of Directors has adopted a 2014-2015 budget that continues to build on a tradition of excellence that is the mark of our schools. The budget provides for continued expansion and strengthening of our pre-K program, early intervention for math in the elementary grades, a new nature-based learning program tied to our curriculum for middle-schoolers, and new educational materials for high school classrooms. The high school science labs in Morse will also get a make-over with the help of funding from a facilities bond already approved by voters. These changes will improve educational opportunities for students in the RSU. While all are important, the support for pre-K and math intervention, in particular, will help our children establish a strong foundation for learning that will pay significant benefits as they continue on as engaged, active learners.

The budget does call for higher spending in the district, but expenses are proposed to increase by only 2.2 percent, with savings taken in administration costs and energy efficiencies. Because the state continues to fall short of its obligation to fund the costs of education, the local contribution to be raised from taxes will go up around 3 percent. The board is aware that any tax increase may cause a burden on families in the district and has worked hard to identify savings to offset added costs. We believe that the proposed RSU 1 budget is a fair balance; we meet our contractual obligations, grow in some areas, and reduce costs in others.

We urge your support.

Stephen August
RSU 1 Board of Directors