Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Tuesday Tweakers

We’re going to give you a little ‘montage’ of items today.  You’ll have to wait until tomorrow, at least, to get an update on Brunswick Clueless United.

Property Taxes:

Let’s start with this, which shows how property tax burden in Maine overwhelms the increase in the cost of living.

Makes you glad our elected ‘public servants’ have enacted so many plans over the years to lower the property taxes, doesn’t it?

School Construction Funding:

Did you see the article in the latest edition of The Forecaster, the one about new school construction?  Find it here.  It begins with these words:

BRUNSWICK — Superintendent of Schools Paul Perzanoski on Monday said a proposed $38 million plan to renovate Brunswick Junior High School and Coffin Elementary School is unlikely to go to voters this fall.

"I'd be very surprised if we went to referendum this November," Perzanoski said.

He also said it should not be considered in current budget discussions.

Town Manager Gary Brown agreed, and said even if the facilities plan does go out to referendum in November, property owners wouldn't feel a tax hike from the debt service until fiscal year 2016.

Keep in mind that FY 2014 begins in less than two months.  So a tax hike for 2016 is two years away.  It wouldn’t surprise us, however, if things happen much sooner.  Call us skeptics, but we see this article as a possible attempt to grease the skids for the current budget proposal, if not neutralize our writings on the elephant in the room.

DOE Grade Reports for Schools:

Following up on the story from last week, which we reported on as it happened, we add these items:

The letter from DOE Commissioner Bowen to Superintendent Perzanoski, which is gracious and well worth your reading and pondering:  http://www.brunswick.k12.me.us/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/School-Report-Card-information.pdf

The letter from the Superintendent to parents: http://www.brunswick.k12.me.us/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/doc06087920130503095143.pdf

Thankfully, he seems to have regained control of himself compared to his initial comments on the issue, as we reported here.

The following links will take you to the individual rating forms issued for 3 of the 4 Brunswick schools.  Once again, we think a careful reading is well worth the few minutes each will require from  you.




Charter Schools & Brunswick:

By now you know about how the School establishment is trying with all its might to stop the sky from falling because 15 or so Brunswick students are planning on attending the new charter school in Harpswell in the fall, unless the legislature can manage to stop it from opening before then, which they seem to be bent on doing.

It occurred to us that if you think about it, this is the flip side of Durham kids attending Brunswick schools, in much larger numbers in recent years.  Best we can recall, when the shoe was on the other foot, no one in authority said their toes hurt.  Or tried to send the dollars back to Durham.

This is why we have gooses, ganders, and horse feathers.

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