Yes on 2, the group that is supporting a statewide referendum calling for a surtax to better fund K-12 education this fall, kicked off its campaign at Memorial Park in Scarborough last Friday.

“Maine’s future depends on an educated and skilled workforce (and the) foundation for that future is built in our public schools,” a press release for the campaign said. “Quality K-12 education gives students the proper foundation for post-secondary education and technical training, increases future earnings, reduces need for state social services, and improves the state’s business climate.”

Yes on 2 argues that because of inadequate state funding of education, Maine communities have had to raise nearly $1.4 billion from local taxes since 2008 just to pay for essential services and infrastructure.

“Wealthy communities are better able to fund their schools. Poorer communities are forced to cut back on programs, classes, and teachers, at a time when public schools are asked to do more and more,” the campaign said in a press release.

“This means kids in wealthier communities have better educational opportunities than those in poorer communities. Question 2 will put more than $157 million into state funding for public education,” the release added.

Question 2 on the state ballot would add a 3 percent surcharge on taxable income above $200,000 to create a state fund that would provide direct support for public education.

Kate Irish Collins

Tamara Ranger of Skowhegan, the Somerset County Teacher of the Year, speaks at the Yes on 2 campaign kick-off event in Scarborough last week.

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