Franklin Countys First News

Students gather in support of RSU 9

More than 80 people stood in support of RSU9, encouraging passersby to vote no at tomorrow's referendum. If the proposed budget is denied, it will go back to board members for further discussion.

FARMINGTON - Barely a half hour into the student-led rally on Main Street, more than 80 people stood with signs encouraging passersby to vote no in tomorrow's RSU 9 budget referendum.

The contentious budget proposal has gathered a significant amount of attention, with people from both sides organizing efforts to push the issue in their favor. A 'yes' vote will move that the budget passes as proposed, cutting $900,000 from the original board-recommended amount, while a 'no' vote will send the budget back to the board for further work.

While those in favor of the cuts have voiced their opinion that they are not being heard by board members; many teachers, students and other community members say that the proposed budget won't meet the needs of the district. More than 80 of those people gathered in front of the post office this afternoon to show their support for RSU9.

First-grader James Wagner stands with his mom Nancy Wagner and his sister Cami Wagner on the right.

"It's hard not to feel helpless because we can't vote on an issue that impacts us more than anyone else," Event organizer River Lisius said.

Lisius is a senior at Mt. Blue High School and helped organize the rally after the results of last week's board meeting.

"Being at school is a lot more than just sitting at a desk. Teachers inspire us. Programs help us become who we want to be. Schools have a phenomenal impact when it comes to empowering kids," she said.

Others echoed the opinion.

"Being able to participate in the arts provides a lot of students with the motivation to keep coming to school," 12-year-old Bridget Reusch said.

Her twin sister agreed, "We should be able to stand up for what we believe in," Moriah Reusch said.

"People need to understand that sports, music, theater and the arts are what make us, us," 13-year old Brynne Robbins said.

An orchestra student plays a tune at the rally Monday afternoon. If the proposed budget passes, many people speculate that extra-curricular activities would be the first to see the repercussions.

The growing group of 'no' voters spilled past their designated block, ending up stretched out in front of the Pierce House.

"The sports teams haven't even gotten here yet," Lisius said.

Many stood in support of the extra-curricular activities at RSU 9. They expressed concern that if tomorrow's vote passes, board members may have to look at more than just extra-curricular activities as a way to make ends meet.

"Without music and art, I would get bored at school," First-grader James Wagner said. "I want to have fun at school and I don't want any more kids in my classroom. Except for my friends."

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

59 Responses »

  1. I find it interesting how so many "Yes" voters attack and belittle the process and the school board while hiding behind a pseudonym. I cannot respect anyone's opinion that belittles and attacks from the shadows. While I disagree with the yes voters I commend those that use their real name and are not afraid to express their views.. However there is no cause for the vicious attacks that some well known people have made. There is no excuse to vandalize and remove NO signs. There is no excuse to behave like a pack of rabid dingos. Lets vote NO and have a reasonable discussion about the issues and discuss the TRUTHS AND REALITIES of what out taxes are and where they go. Blatantly ignoring the facts and drinking the Kool-Aid without thinking on your own is not a respectable option. Thank you for voting NO

  2. Proud of the students!
    Someone said not once did they ask they demanded, during the adult conversations, I have seen and heard name calling and personal attacks. Maybe we should increase the budget and re-educate some adults.

    To those voting yes, think about pay freezes in your household. Increase in utilities, oil, and gas prices are rising. With rising gas prices, food prices and other essential food prices will go up. You work on a flat budget, what are you cutting? We may have not needed the huge increase, but we do not need the flat fund either.

    Blame the school for low levels?Blame the parents and the community. Facaulty have no control. Child wants to get up and leave? It is ok, because they needed a break to collect themselves. Many students do not show respect, but parents expect the faculty to babysit, be punched, spit at and sometimes threatened. When a child is disciplined they are accused of "picking on my child". You people can't have it both ways, teach my child, but don't force them, don't challenge them and make things to hard. No, not all parents are like this and yes some students want to learn. But look at yourself, where do you fit in?

  3. Mixer: Many of these children do work, both during the school year and during the summer.....

  4. "Many Americans are tired of explaining things to idiots, particularly when the things in question are so painfully obvious, a new poll indicates.

    According to the poll, conducted by the University of Minnesota’s Opinion Research Institute, while millions have been vexed for some time by their failure to explain incredibly basic information to dolts, that frustration has now reached a breaking point.

    Of the many obvious things that people are sick and tired of trying to get through the skulls of stupid people, the fact that..." taxes are going DOWN and schools are NOT out of control spenders! Spend five minutes volunteering in a classroom and it will be painfully obvious of the sacrifices, teachers, administrators, students, etc. make to make it through the day.

    VOTE NO!!

  5. Larry Labul,
    For myself, I choose to not use my name because I am a local business owner. Comments have been made to boycott businesses in which the owner does not agree with what is perceived as the "right" way to vote. I can't afford that to happen...

  6. Mizer- Have you looked at a teachers annual salary!? Where the heck did you get that idea? Many teachers have to work a second job during the summer, or have another source of income to supplement their livelihood. Trust me. As the son of an educator, I know first hand the sacrifices that are made in these teachers lives, they teach because they have a passion, not to get rich and laze about during the warm months... Please get a grip. This isn't just scare tactics. If this goes the wrong way tonight, there will be cuts across the board. It will be detrimental to our kids education.

  7. Larry I would have to say theres plenty of pseudonyms on both sides. Vote No just called us idiots, stupid, and dolts.

  8. I agree vote NO!! Shouldn't sink to such tactics as I said- many adults need to be re-educated. Calling names and belittling people takes away from the message.

  9. Is my data faulty ? Retrieved from the 2015-2016 NCLB REPORT CARD and the MT BLUE RSU9 2017-2018 BUDGET DETAIL documents. Total staff,(not just teaches) wages are about $19,764,000. Total benefits are $5,205,000. (26% avg The instructional avg. is over 30%) The transportation section is49%!!!.The reportcard data indicates that over 50% of students did not meet standards.56% failed math, 25% failed english, and 33% failed science. That's not very good for about a $26 million investment.