Despite the impression you may have gotten from Sen. Garret Mason’s recent op-ed column in the Press Herald, Democrats have been making good-faith efforts to come to a deal on tax conformity for weeks.

Unfortunately, Republicans aren’t interested. Like their governor, they’re taking a “my-way-or-the-highway” approach that’s jeopardizing tax conformity and our local schools.

Democrats have made several attempts to appease Republicans. We offered to pass one year of tax conformity – giving them 100 percent of what they asked for – so that our businesses, teachers and homeowners could get a tax break immediately. That would have gotten us out of the fire so we could negotiate future years.

Republicans refused.

Then, House Democrats offered permanent conformity of all federal tax credits approved by Congress, plus one year of the questionable Maine Capital Investment Credit and a promise to review that program to ensure it benefits Mainers, not just big corporations.

They also included funding to fill a shortfall faced by Maine’s local schools.

This shortfall is also an emergency and, without a supplemental budget from Gov. LePage, these routine funding initiatives must be attached to other bills.

Republicans balked, saying we’ve spent enough on schools.

Now in negotiations, Senate Democrats are willing to go a step further: We’ll extend the tax credits permanently, as long as Republicans will support our efforts to fund our schools and, by extension, keep property taxes from rising.

Republicans are still saying no.

It reminds me of a scene from “Titanic.” Elitists are sitting in their lifeboats with plenty of room for others, but they push the powerless away to drown.

Our schools shouldn’t have to wait in icy waters for another lifeboat. Democrats are willing to compromise. But the Republicans would rather drive us off the cliff than fund our schools.