At this time of hardship for many, we simply cannot overlook the significant role that schools play in our community. What we may have taken for granted in the past, this pandemic has forced us to see. Our students need their teachers and their peers to enrich their lives and help them on their journey to becoming active, caring citizens.

Providing safe schools during the pandemic will certainly come at a cost. The budget as it stands today will provide $533,820 in funding for these added expenses. While we are still in the planning process, we expect this number will grow, possibly significantly. We will continue to advocate for any needed emergency funds with the Town Council. We encourage you to follow this process, advocate with the Town Council, and reach out to your state representatives to discuss additional funding possibilities.

Our schools are a crucial social support for our students and their families. Many families will struggle and the economy will remain uncertain if the children of working parents are not able to return to in person learning this fall. As such, the School Board Finance Committee was very intentional about the cuts that were made in order to retain as much staff and programming as possible, so that our students will have these supports in place, regardless of what school looks like come fall. We are grateful that we have been able to avoid large staff/teacher reductions. This budget funds our teachers’ salaries, but also asks them to shoulder the impact of many reductions while taking on additional responsibilities. We are confident that they will rise to the occasion, they always do. We are also grateful to be able to maintain all athletic programs and co-curricular activities. These programs always offer value to a student’s educational experience, but now more than ever, are needed to provide students with the social interaction that has been severely lacking the past four months. This budget also allows our district to respond to increased enrollment, staff our clinics, and make necessary safety upgrades to our facilities.

The success of our entire community is reliant on our students’ healthy and safe return to school. Let that be our focus as we consider this budget and allow the staff to get back to the hard work of teaching and caring for our students. Please support this budget with a YES vote on July 14!

With many thanks for your continued support,

The Scarborough Board of Education

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