After over two years of monthly meetings with numerous public surveys and workshops, the Saco School Board’s School Construction Committee presented the board with two options for resolving our issues with Saco’s K-2 schools.

The board then voted 5-2 to allow Saco citizens the option of approving or rejecting a bond to get K-2 students out of temporary trailers and into a new Young School and to renovate the Fairfield School.

The timing for this vote was good, because many current bonds are soon to be paid off and the upcoming November election could produce record-breaking voter turnout.

But at the May 16 council workshop, a majority of the Saco City Council reached a consensus to deny Saco citizens the right to this vote. The council may formalize this decision at its June 6 meeting unless enough citizens demand otherwise.

The reasons given for their decision were not very persuasive. It was hinted that the school board had not considered the taxpayers in their decision. On the contrary: The alternative option was to bus our youngest students to the outskirts of the city at the extra cost of $6 million for a new facility and probably millions more for road and other infrastructure upgrades.

Another reason given for denying Saco citizens this vote was the slim chance that if Saco waits long enough, the Maine Department of Education could take pity on our students housed in trailers and pay for a new K-2 school.

Personally, I find it reprehensible to allow our youngest students to languish in their current condition for years to come, hoping against hope that the state may cover the city of Saco’s responsibility of providing our children with adequate schools.

Ted Sirois

Saco School Board, Ward 6