Support Question 2 in November for rural Maine students

Printed in the Machias Valley News Observer – August 13, 2016

 

To the Editor:

I support Question 2 on the November ballot as a way to help

close the opportunity gap for Maine students when it comes to the

quality of their education.

 

Regardless of what ZIP code a Maine child lives in, Maine students

deserve the right to a fully funded education that will prepare them

for a rapidly changing local and global world.

For the pas 16 years, I have been an early childhood educator at

a rural coastal elementary school in Washington County. During

my time as an educator, the issues of poverty and despair over an

uncertain future have slowly made their way into the hallways,

classrooms and onto the playgrounds of our Washington County

schools.

 

I look at Question 2, which would bring $157 million to public

schools each year by adding a 3 percent surcharge on households

making over $200,000 per year, as a way to help address these

issues.

 

The money generated could allow schools to hire guidance

counselors, school nurses and mental health professionals. With

the impact of poverty and the rise of opiate and heroin addiction in

our Maine communities, more Maine children are coming into our

schools having experienced some form of trauma. Maine students

deserve the right to have access to a guidance counselor, school

nurse, and mental health consultant no matter the ZIP Code of

their school.

 

I support Question 2 because of what I see in the classroom

everyday and what I know the future could hold for our Maine

children.

 

Suzen Polk-Hoffses

Jonesport