Media Archive

Regional schools make dollars and sense

Article from The Piscataquis Observer, Vol. 164, No. 42, October 16, 2002
To the editor:

Local towns are starting to talk about regionalizing schools. What I'm reading and hearing about doesn 't make a lot of sense.

To my way of thinking, all the communities in southern Piscataquis County could be in one school district. Maybe; other nearby towns could be included, such as; Charleston, Lagrange or even Dexter. This would mean: one superintendent, one business manager, one director of special education, one director of maintenance, one purchasing agent, and the support people to efficiently operate the district.

The youngest students would stay in schools closer to their homes, but not necessarily in their community. High school students would go to schools further,away. For exanqple, a student planning to pursue a liberal arts or science degree might go to Foxcroft Academy. A student wishing to try out a career before graduation might go to a technical high school, similar to the one in Dexter. All students would be encouraged to further their education beyond high school. Curriculums would reflect the push toward college.

Schools will be eliminated based on enrollment and physical condition of the structure. Some towns will lose their elementary school. Some towns will lose their high school. No easy choices exist.

Rising property taxes are a statewide issue. Combine that with declining enrollment and Piscataquis County has a crisis unfolding. It does n't matter whether you are a home owner or a business property taxpayer. No one can tolerate the property tax increases related to maintaining the status quo. Solutions won't be coming from Augusta or Washington, D.C.

The answers lie within our own area and our willingness to consider change.

Lynn Ricker

NOTE - This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of the TRC Alliance Team.