Concerns about high school renovation plans, the budget and the recent redistricting process motivated Jay T. Allen to run for the South Portland School Board.

Allen, 47, holds a Certified Supply Chain Professional designation. He is married and has two children at Brown School. He is among four candidates seeking two at-large seats on the School Board.

Allen said he was disappointed by the School Board’s communication during redistricting, which moved students to balance populations in the elementary schools.

“The decision was made to redistrict before the public was asked for input,” Allen argues. “The school administration knew that redistricting would be met with enormous resistance but they didn’t care.”

Allen worries that the school department is taking a similar approach toward the proposed high school renovation.

“The committee says they want community input, but in reality they can barely tolerate it,” asserts Allen, who attended recent meetings by the Secondary Schools Facilities Committee. “They believe they have the high moral ground… They continue working on a plan that will be in the $50 million range if completed.”

Allen says he is concerned that the school department already has paid the architect roughly $700,000, yet there is no broad-based support for the building plans presented.

“Given the current economic situation, it would seem self-evident that asking South Portland taxpayers to completely fund their $50 million dream is lunacy,” Allen said of the facilities committee.

Allen said he wants to take a deeper look at the school operating budget. “What I propose to do as a School Board member is make sure we are getting value for the money we spend,” he said. “We need to continue to seek out inefficiencies and waste much like we all do in our own personal budgets.”

Allen said he hopes to address unfunded mandates for special education that the state of Maine is not fulfilling. He said that if the state met the requirements for funding special education, there would be less of a burden on South Portland.

Allen has a blog (www.jaytallen.com) in which he offers videotaped explanations of his views on School Board issues.

South Portland School Board – Jay T. Allen – High school, redistricting issues spark candidate


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