As a member of the Maine Legislature’s Education and Cultural Affairs Committee and representing a very rural district, I fully recognize and understand the struggles facing our many rural school districts.

In Augusta, we are always trying to find new ways to balance the scales to ensure that all Maine students, regardless of ZIP code, have access to a quality education and ample opportunities to learn and grow.

That’s why it was concerning to learn that a formula change at the U.S. Department of Education was set to cut funding for more than 100 rural school districts in Maine.

For many school districts across rural Maine, these funds are used to support teacher training, technology, art teachers and mental health counselors. For some schools, the loss of this grant would mean either higher property taxes, or staffing cuts or program cuts.

Thankfully, Sen. Susan Collins stepped in to advocate for our rural school districts and was able to reverse the formula change for at least one more year, and she will soon sponsor legislation to protect these important funds in the future.

Heidi H. Sampson

Republican state representative

Alfred

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