Letter to Editor: Support for Pre-K

To the Editor:

No doubt about it, educational funding in Maine, and the nation, is a complex issue. We must educate our children so they are prepared to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing and deeply interconnected world. Our investments now will determine the course of prosperity in Maine for generations to come.

69 percent of Maine children under the age of six have all available parents in the workforce. Thus, funding for educational initiatives like public Pre-K is of critical concern as we voters choose who will go to Augusta to represent our communities for the next two years, and beyond. As a Trenton resident, I am proud that our town was the first in our AOS to vote for a public Pre-K partnership with the local Head Start. The program started this month.

Leading up to the Trenton town meeting and vote, Pre-K was on many people’s minds. It was, and is, a complex issue. Many hard discussions were had between friends and neighbors and a lot of misinformation regarding funding existed. In the written town report, the Trenton Selectmen came out strongly against the proposed school budget, and public Pre-K. The report stated that the school budget, including the Pre-K, was “of great concern” and support for increases in the school budget was “just not possible.” All told, it took a lot of courage, partnership, and negotiation between the school and our school board, local parents and advocates, Head Start, and the town itself, to move forward with that important investment.

So, it was with interest that I read about House Candidate Remick’s belief “that education should begin with kindergarten,” as expressed in Jill Goldthwait’s Sept. 28 column. Current House Candidate Mark Remick is a Trenton selectman. As a Trenton resident, it would have been great if Remick would have lent his voice more strongly to that discussion. I don’t recall his vocal or public support of the effort in the years, weeks, or days preceding the vote. Supportive he may have been, but his silence certainly did not help our town in a challenging moment when real leadership was needed.

Trenton and Ellsworth citizens deserve a strong voice in Augusta to guide policy and resources in all of the significant discussions facing our region and our state. Complex issues affecting us include access to affordable healthcare, workforce development, our aging demographics, and the continuing opioid and mental health crisis. Unfortunately, Candidate Remick has demonstrated he just doesn’t have that voice.

Rachel Nobel


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