To the Editor:
As Wiscasset residents consider a potential withdrawal from RSU 12 we must consider the financial facts. The state sets a minimum every town has to pay towards education.
Wiscasset’s minimum, or its “minimum required contribution,” stated on Form 279, which is based on the Essential Programs and Services formula, has risen by nearly $900,000 in three years and its subsidy has decreased by over $1.9 million in the same time period.
These changes are because of the State’s funding formula, not the RSU’s continually declining budget; withdrawing from the RSU will not get that money back or reduce our State minimum requirement.
In fact, this means to pay without the RSU, what we pay now with the RSU, Wiscasset needs to find $1.9 million in school budget cuts at least. Even closing a school would not reach this amount.
Besides, do you think the community will vote to close one or two of its schools? They didn’t a few years ago and no one can close a school without voter approval. Wiscasset will get stuck with an incredible tax increase and lose all the advantages of sharing the cost of education at the same time.
Don’t take my word for it. I challenge the media and anyone considering withdrawal to check out Form 279 for yourself. It is available on the State Dept. of Education webpage. Also, visit the town office and look at the last three year’s tax assessment calculation forms.
Learn more about our options, the potential costs of these options and make an informed choice in November. Please attend the SAGES Forum on RSU Withdrawal on Oct. 26th at 6 p.m. in the Wiscasset High School Library.