Letter: Mascoma’s Problems Are Real
To the Editor:
Malcolm Love’s April 6 letter, “Don’t Oversimplify Mascoma Vote,” quoted me as saying that residents who voted “no” to the renovation project “didn’t see the value in education in the district.” I’d like to clarify how grateful I am to those who voted for the project, as well as those who supported the contracts and budget. However, any “no” vote meant “no” to solving the accreditation problem, and to me that clearly reflects how one values education.
If you support education but voted “no” on the project, then what would you have voted “yes” to?
The School Board has been criticized for proposing a plan that was “unnecessary” for our school and the current enrollment. Yet, the New England Association of Schools and Colleges cites the “lack of community support for education specific to facility deficiencies in the areas of: music/chorus, science, and library” as a key part of its “warning status” for this district, using existing enrollment to base its decision. Like it or not, without expansion in these areas, this district is on track for losing accreditation. This isn’t just some idle threat from the School Board; it comes directly from letters from NEASC over the past several years.
I served on the School Board for three-plus years and have been attending meetings for the past five years, and I have yet to see those who vote “no” coming forth with alternate plans or offering suggestions at the exit polls. Many, I suspect, haven’t set foot in the high school in many years, if ever.
I encourage this community to take part in the tours of the high school and ground themselves in reality. I suggest they attend meetings so we can come together to make informed decisions. Fixing the roof and leaky pipes won’t solve the core space issues.
A no vote doesn’t mean the School Board will give up on this issue. I hope that those who voted no and who say they support education stop blaming the board and start contributing to a solution that best supports our students. The time to plan is now.
Mascoma Valley Regional School Board