Wed, Apr 23, 2014 ●
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Letter: Freeport's future is brighter without RSU 5

Opinion

Letter: Freeport's future is brighter without RSU 5

This is Freeport's last chance to take back local management of our schools and avoid a future filled will conflict. Our neighbors vote against school budgets by wide margins, then are forced accepted them because of the structure. This is no way to manage our schools, or relations with neighbors.

A vote to withdraw from Regional School Unit 5 will let us assess the costs of a Freeport district, one that educates our students in a fiscally responsible manner. Our high school needs renovation, and Freeport can build a smaller cost-effective school on our own and still collaborate with neighbors. I suspect Brunswick would love to tuition in students; it does not make sense for us to build more seats when a neighboring town has room.

RSUs were formed with state pressure and the promises of better schools. There is no evidence that RSUs improve the quality of education or saved us money. In fact, we have seen several cuts. Thus far, 22 of the 24 RSUs that were formed have member towns interested in pulling out.

I believe that, with good management, we can improve Freeport schools, and avoid a future of conflict, where educational quality takes a back seat.

This RSU is not a natural union. We can work with neighbors and partner where it makes sense. The current system has us paying 66 percent of the costs with 61 percent of the students. We can do better.

Vote yes on Dec. 17 to explore a better system for all three towns.

Gary Small
Freeport