Maine town leaders look to Question 2 to boost local schools

Maine town leaders look to Question 2 to boost local schools

Elected leaders from Androscoggin, Cumberland, and York Counties gathered outside a Portland elementary school today to explain what passage of Question 2 could mean for their schools and their students. The referendum seeks to increase funding for classroom instruction in local schools through a three-percent income tax surcharge on those making more than $200,000 a year.

“As an educator I see the need employers have every day for trained workers,” said Charles Galemmo, select board chair in North Berwick. “I see the amount of remediation the community colleges must do because our cash starved schools are having trouble funding the important programs needed to have all our children college-ready or workforce-ready.”

More than a hundred school board members and municipal councilors from across Maine have publicly endorsed the Yes on 2 campaign.

“The state’s failure to fund 55% of local education has created perennial budget crises for Lewiston Public Schools,” said State Senator Nate Libby of Lewiston, a member of the legislature’s Taxation Committee. “Mainers’ approval of Question 2 would bring about $4 million dollars to Lewiston schools, helping to relieve the burden on working families and seniors. That’s a significant impact.”

Question 2 will be on the ballot this November. A recent Portland Press Herald/UNH poll found the measure leading with 60% support.

“I’m voting yes on 2 because it will have a significant impact in helping us meet the educational needs of our kids, while simultaneously helping us reduce property taxes,” said Portland Mayor Ethan Strimling.

Photo: Marnie Morrione, Chair of the Portland School Board, speaks at the Yes on 2 press conference.

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