BRUNSWICK — “As a student, I deserve a chance to succeed and that requires more resources, better books, better materials and enough supplies. This initiative will help all students in Maine so we all have a fair shot at a good future.”

That’s what my daughter Elise said when I told her about a new campaign to increase funding for Maine’s public schools. The Stand Up for Students campaign is offering a referendum for the November 2016 ballot that would increase funding for our schools by more than $100 million.

The proposal is funded by a 3 percent surcharge on the incomes of the wealthiest Mainers. It won’t apply to individuals who make less than $200,000; those who do would pay an additional $30 for every $1,000 they earn above $200,000.

This 3 percent fee on the top 2 percent of Maine households would generate about $110 million for our schools. Here in Brunswick, it would mean an additional $2 million in education funding.

I’ve lived in Brunswick for 20 years. My family and I are proud to call Brunswick home, and I am very lucky that both my children can attend public schools in Brunswick.

But over the past few years, I’ve seen first-hand that our schools are being asked to do more and more with less and less. Brunswick, like many communities, has been shortchanged by the state.

Even though voters told the state in 2003 to fund 55 percent of the cost of public education, the state hasn’t kept its promise. While costs go up every year, state funding for our schools has actually declined.

When the state fails to adequately fund schools, local schools like ours are faced with the awful decision of what services to cut and how much to raise property taxes.

In Brunswick we have made many tough choices, including eliminating positions such as reading and math specialists that help our struggling students.

My children have seen the effects of inadequate school funding in their classrooms.

My son Everett is an eighth-grader at Brunswick Junior High School. He loves science, especially chemistry, and uses his free time to learn what he can on his own, in part because of the lack of chemistry education in his classes. The school doesn’t even have the money to keep the gas hooked up in the science lab.

He supports the Stand Up for Students campaign so that students don’t have to learn in an underfunded school environment.

My daughter Elise is a fifth-grader at Stowe Elementary School in Brunswick. While she loves her school and her classes, she also wants the state to do more for all kids, which is why she’s supporting the Stand Up for Students campaign.

Elise loves art. Too many schools don’t have an art program, but Stowe Elementary does. However, the art classes have to share space with the music classes. Elise thinks it would be better to have two separate rooms for music and art.

In her words: “When you do art you should feel like you can express yourself and be really creative, but if you walk into the music room, you have to be pretty careful that you don’t get paint on the floor or marker on the tables.”

If our schools were better funded, Stowe Elementary might be able to have two separate classrooms for art and music so that, as Elise says, “we can express ourselves for who we are.”

While my children and I are proud to support the Stand Up for Students campaign, I know this initiative is not just about my children and my property taxes and my local public schools.

Supporting our schools helps us all, not only as parents and taxpayers, but also as Mainers. There is no better investment than our kids and our schools.

In the coming months, Everett, Elise and I will be working with parents, students and supporters across the state to collect signatures so the Stand Up for Students referendum can appear on the November 2016 ballot.

We all will benefit when our schools are well funded and when we are doing everything we can to provide every child with the best educational opportunities possible.