In a recent letter to the editor, Jim Thornton of Bethel, a teacher at Harrison Elementary School, argues in favor of Question 2 on the November ballot. This would add a 3 percent surcharge on the income of individuals earning more than $200,000 a year, and use the money for public education.

I consider this a dangerous precedent. In Maine, the median income (the income such that half the population earns less and half earns more) is about $49,500, according to 2014 U.S. Census data.

Why not a ballot initiative that directs a surtax on those earning more than $49,500, with the money to go to those earning less than $49,500? Presumably there are enough voters to pass such a proposal.

The current Question 2 is not all that far from such a proposal. (Recall that Mr. Thornton is a teacher, and so might well benefit from passage of Question 2.)

If public education is short of money, perhaps some way could be found to lower its cost. For example, recent progress in artificial intelligence would suggest that programs could be written that would constitute personal tutors for each student.

With the cost of computers falling, and their power increasing, we could, in principle, give students a better education at a lower cost. Surely that is far better than killing the goose that lays the golden eggs.

William Vaughan Jr.

Chebeague Island