In his April 30 column, “Instead of wasting money on tax scams, we should invest in ourselves,” Alan Caron asks us to imagine if the $16 million from the Great Northern scheme had been put into 1,000 small businesses in Maine.

As the founder of a new education nonprofit in Maine, I can’t help but imagine if even just part of that $16 million had also been directed toward closing the achievement gap for Maine’s poorest students.

The Washington Center for Equitable Growth recently concluded that closing the U.S. achievement gap in math and science would increase state and local government revenues by a staggering $2.4 trillion by 2050, as well as increase the lifetime earnings of poor families by 22 percent.

With Maine having some of the highest poverty rates and lowest math proficiency scores in the region, part or all of that $16 million could have gone a long way toward bringing innovative and promising educational solutions to our state, ultimately generating bright futures for kids and their families, and far more in revenue than would have ever been spent.

Instead, as Mr. Caron notes, the money is likely going toward “yachts in the Virgin Islands.” It’s time to get serious about long-term investment in Maine by investing more in what works for educating kids in need, without delay.

Torin Peterson

founder and director, Maine State Tutor Corps