Education is lifeblood of our economy
To the Editor:
As a teacher, I notice every day how my community supports the educators of RSU 10 from Rumford to Buckfield.
What may not be as obvious is the fact that educators support the businesses of our community to the same extent. As any educator will attest, we spend about 90 percent of our salary in community grocery stores, at community gas stations, in local auto shops, clothing stores, and restaurants. Educators purchase heating oil, furniture, hardware, and local produce, all from our neighbors’ businesses.
In RSU 10 alone, educators spend somewhere near $15 million a year supporting our local business owners, and their families, through our purchases, not counting our service in the classroom. In the River Valley, RSU 10 is the second largest employer. As it turns out, education is the lifeblood of our economy.
Despite this fiscal reality, many people continue to advocate that we cut more from an education budget that supports our students, programs and schools. After cuts of 15 percent over the last two years, proposals are being advanced to slash the RSU 10 budget by an additional $2 million, for a total of 21 percent over three years. One-fifth of the funds for our children, gone!
This amount could put nearly 40 educators out of work, and take over $1 million a year, cash, from the local economy. Before voters choose to defund programs that support our children, they should consider whose bottom line they are really hurting.