Printed in the Bangor Daily News – August 12, 2016
Vote yes on Question 2
I implore my fellow community members to join me in voting yes on Question 2this November to provide more funding for public education. As an elementary public school teacher in Belfast, I have seen the effects firsthand of the state’s failure to fund public schools to the promised rate of 55 percent. The severely underfunded system has led to a lack of access to basic classroom consumable supplies, fewer quality professional development opportunities for staff and severe cuts to necessary staff and programs for our schools.
Despite local school board and community members’ best efforts, the burden to fund this budget shortfall gap has fallen to our local property taxpayers. But we have a solution to our funding dilemma. Question 2 proposes a 3 percent surtax on annual income over $200,000, which would generate approximately $157 million annually for public education. This money would go directly to support public education, and it is a sound investment in our children and our future.
It’s time for our schools to be fully funded, as was promised more than a decade ago, and a “yes” vote on Question 2 will do exactly that. Every child in Maine deserves a great public school educational experience, regardless of their ZIP code. A “yes” vote on Question 2 will ensure access to the promised funding for public schools and would create much needed property tax relief in our rural towns. Please join me as I stand up for students in support of a “yes” vote on referendum Question 2.