Re: “Maine Voices: Do we need to rebuild four schools? This crucial issue deserves closer look” (July 20):

The assertion that Portland’s four-school renovation bond is an issue brought forth and paid for by Progressive Portland is ludicrous and an insult to the parents, educators and school board members who have been working on this plan for five years in response to facilities needs identified well over a decade ago.

Community members and our representatives have spent time on enrollment studies, facilities committees and working groups and advocated to city staff and officials for the Buildings for Our Future plan, which this referendum is based on, since 2012 – well before Progressive Portland was even in existence.

That group may be endorsing and campaigning for the plan at the current time, but it is not responsible for this long-studied and well-structured bond to address facilities needs at our elementary schools, with property tax increases phased in over several years in consideration of the needs of homeowners.

To insinuate that this is the product of a special interest group and needs more consideration is irresponsible, and I am surprised that someone who worked for Portland Public Schools (Shoshana Hoose, the column’s author) would be so unaware of the history behind this referendum.

I am disappointed that the Portland Press Herald continues to print politically motivated commentaries with half-truths, and sometimes outright falsities, related to this issue. Stop focusing on special interests and political divisiveness and report on the facts surrounding this issue and the ways in which it will benefit not just education, but also the families that Portland so desperately needs to attract and retain.

Jessica Marino

Portland