Thank you to everyone who voted Yes on 3 and helped the effort. Now we work to get the changes made that consolidation needs! I’ll be doing a full analysis of Question 3 later at the Augusta Insider. Read a statement from Skip Greenlaw after the cut.
Stonington- Maine Coalition to Save Schools Chair, Skip Greenlaw, released the following statement on Wednesday,November 4, 2009.
“We want to thank all Maine people who voted to repeal the school consolidation law on Tuesday. Even though there were not sufficient votes to repeal the law, at this writing 201,672 Maine voters expressed their opposition to this law. Augusta, please take note.”
“We want to thank more than 500 Maine registered voters who collected 61,193 signatures to allow all Maine people the opportunity to vote on this very important education issue.”
“We are disappointed that we did not have $300,000 to tell our side of the story on radio and TV. It is obvious and disturbing that money is still the mother’s milk of politics.”
“We are disappointed that the Governor’s surrogates provided Maine residents with inaccurate, unsubstantiated, and incomplete information about savings concerning those school units which consolidated.”
“Recently, I read that there were 23 major studies completed from 1960 to 2003 about school consolidation. There were savings in only 4 of the 792 school consolidations over that period of time all across the country.”
“In the final analysis, we believe that consolidation will cost Maine taxpayers much more than it will save, particularly after collective bargaining agreements are ratified. There is great concern that these agreements will result in substantial layoffs of faculty because of significant increase in budgets.”
“We hope that the legislature now understands that one law does not fit all Maine schools. In smaller Maine school administrative units, there is often only one superintendent, who wears several hats- chief administrative officer, trans-portation coordinator, maintenance director, food service director, etc. In those school units, consolidation costs more than it saves.”
“We hope that the legislature will find some way to make adjustments to allow these small units to record savings under the alternative part of the law in the same way that the 42 larger schools, which voted against consolidation, were allowed to do so by the Commissioner.”
“There is a law suit which may go forward in federal court challenging the constitutionality of the penalty provision under the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment.”
” Finally, I would like to express my profound appreciation to hundreds of Maine citizens, who understood the gross unfairness and inequity of this law to small schools, mostly in rural Maine, and who worked so hard in their communi-ties to communicate our message. They all exhibited the infamous “can-do Maine spirit and attitude”. The problem was that there are so many more taxpayers who live in communities which did not experience consolidation, and hence had little understanding of the law or empathy for our point of view.”