Candidate, school board back Question 3

Posted Oct. 14, 2009, at 8:48 p.m.

CAMDEN, Maine — The effort to repeal the state’s school district consolidation law has received support from a midcoast school district that rejected consolidation and from a gubernatorial candidate.

Lynne Williams, a Maine Green Independent Party candidate who is running for governor, released her second video ad last weekend urging voters to vote yes on Question 3.

According to a news release, Williams, a Bar Harbor lawyer, says in the ad that the law was “ill-considered” and that she objects to it because it lessens local control of schools and tries to lump schools together into a “one size fits all” situation.

Also, the Five Town Community School District board announced this week that it has unanimously adopted a proclamation supporting repeal of the school consolidation law, according to a news release by the Maine Coalition to Save Schools.

The coalition initiated the repeal effort that will appear as Question 3 on the ballot for the Nov. 3 election. The group wants voters to repeal the school consolidation law and reinstate the laws previously in effect.

Board member Betsy Saltonstall, who worked on the proclamation, said it is important that boards opposed to the consolidation law urge residents to get out and vote yes on Question 3.

“The law penalizes some communities that voted not to consolidate, and exempts others. It simply isn’t fair,” Saltonstall said. “To make matters worse, the $5 million in penalties on those communities will hit next year when state aid to schools is being drastically cut. We need to repeal this law before it does irreparable harm to schools, particularly in smaller towns.”

Five Town CSD comprises Appleton, Camden, Hope, Lincolnville and Rockport. It faces $604,000 in penalties for rejecting the consolidation mandate.

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