Maine should revise its process for subsidizing local school construction. Maine prioritized its last list of construction projects in 2018. It does not plan to initiate another review of funding requests until 2024. Its review process is lengthy. If a rapidly growing school district does not fit the state schedule, it is told to fund the construction itself without any chance for state reimbursement. The state’s solution for rapidly growing school districts makes no sense; districts most in need of new facilities are told to fund their own projects; those districts with little or no growth receive funding. Help should go to the neediest.

Voters of MSAD 51 overwhelmingly rejected their district’s plan for a new school to address serious overcrowding. Surely, the district’s plan to totally self-fund the project weighed on voters’ minds. The voters of Cumberland and North Yarmouth should contact their state legislators and request emergency changes to the state funding process. Currently the state is considering emergency changes to its funding of services for asylum seekers. Equity demands that Maine’s young citizens, its own children, receive the same, immediate, attention.

Timothy Michalak