Take our school back

Durham should remove itself from RSU 5. We were threatened to be fined by the state if we didn’t join an RSU. No such thing ever came to being. Other towns resisted, and were never fined. Durham is outnumbered (on) the school board, six (members) for Freeport, three for Durham and two for Pownal. Freeport can and has carried the majority at times.

The first vote on the first RSU budget had failed because Pownal and Durham outvoted the residents of Freeport. That has hardly happened since, as Freeport gets enough of its voters to carry (the) majority vote on most of budget questions since. Ninety-five percent of all (school board) meetings are in Freeport. There should be more meetings in the other two towns.

A group of seniors in Pownal and Durham are left out of votes and questions because they cannot get to Freeport as easy as their own town.

We had hardly got involved in the RSU when it tried to pass an article in 2011 to support a $3 million sports complex. Even voters in Freeport were against this, and it did not pass. Now they want to add to the high school. I asked the question at one of the meetings before voting into the RSU if Freeport could handle the extra student influx from Durham and Pownal. The answer was yes, we would be able to handle for eight to 10 years. But it seems as though we need an addition now, but (it) was not as important as a sports complex in 2011.

Parents are upset that they may have to send students to a different high school. Before joining the RSU, parents were upset because now they would not have a high school choice. Now they believe that they may not be able to get a high school choice. I think that we can and will if we pull out of the RSU. I think that we need to go back to the way of financing our school before the RSU. We need to have the school budget come back before the budget committee in Durham, and then go before the residents at town meeting, even if it costs us more. I truly believe that residents of Durham and Pownal do not get an even voice under the present system.

I have been a resident of Durham all my life, and a budget committee member for 18 years in the past. We need to take our school back.

Ken Scribner


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