Recently, several towns across Maine voted to withdraw from their RSUs, and many are in the process of doing so because the school consolidation law has been a failure. I encourage Freeport voters to vote yes to begin the process of withdrawing from RSU 5 on Dec. 17.

While families like mine used to move to Freeport because of its reputation for innovative and creative educational programs, this is no longer the case. As many real estate agents will tell you, Freeport’s real estate market is not experiencing the renewed activity that our neighboring towns have seen in the last year. Morale among most Freeport faculty is at an all-time low, many excellent teachers have left because of dissatisfaction with the RSU, and families with high-achieving children are moving or sending their children to schools outside the RSU. And why shouldn’t they? Instead of steady improvements to our schools, we are experiencing the opposite: steady declines in regular instructional support for teachers at the lower grade levels; fewer literacy specialists to help young readers; and teacher salary increases that have fallen behind those of our neighboring towns.

In our efforts to be sensitive to the priorities of Pownal and Durham, we have lost control over our own educational priorities, and this has negatively affected our community. We need to reverse the tide that has taken our schools backwards and return to local control. It is time to stop accepting mediocrity for our children and strive for excellence again.

Shari Broder


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