Scarborough residents are justifiably proud of our school system. Only recently we learned that U.S. News and World Report ranked Scarborough High School as the sixth best in the state. We also are fortunate to have Julie Kukenberger as the new superintendent. She has already demonstrated outstanding leadership and a willingness to bring the schools and the larger community together.

Part of that coming together of schools and community is a recognition that not all Scarborough residents can afford the steadily increasing tax burden. The school budget on which we’ll be voting Tuesday calls for a 7.4 percent increase in taxes for the schools. It also would result in a 3.5 percent overall tax rate increase.

While that overall increase may not seem burdensome to some, it can present a major financial challenge for many residents – and not just seniors.

We recognize that the town is receiving $1.4 million less in state education aid than last year. However, that decrease has been more than offset by the use of $2.1 million of accumulated surpluses. The fundamental budget issue is that school expenses continue to grow while state funding is declining and enrollment is down.

At the very least, the school budget should be trimmed to a level that meets the Town Council’s stated goal of a 3 percent overall tax rate increase. Please vote “no” on the school budget Tuesday. Let the Town Council know that we need a school budget that works for the entire community.

Brian Kanode