Issues at RSU 67 Leaves the District Divided
The RSU 67 school district has had an interesting year. “When I moved home, I said this is a school I can put my kids in and feel good, I’m seriously considering home schooling again,” said Dolly Phillips, a parent of four RSU 67 students. It started in 2011, when a teacher was accused of hitting a student. Recently, an arbitrator decided that wasn’t the case, but it’s still left the community talking.Phyllis Aiken, a former Physical Education and Health teacher at RSU 67, said, “It splits the town, big time.”Superintendent Denise Hamlin believes the estimate cost of the arbitration is about $33,000, all taken from the budget. There is also a prohibited practice case against the school board and it’s unclear how much that case will cost. With the budget issues, parents don’t understand why the superintendent received a contract extension and a pay increase. Phillips said, “If you feel like she deserves this, wait until after the big case is done. You don’t give it now.”Hamlin explains how other superintendents around the state have a much larger salary. “When you look at across the region, in just our area, it’s a below average salary, even with the 3%.”When it comes to the referendum vote, which has an additional $13,000 from the last budget vote, it seems like voters are saying no, again. “A lot of people that I’ve talked with are not going to vote the budget in whether it’s $1 or $80 million,” Aikens said. The superintendent wants residents to take politics out of the vote and focus on the students. Hamlin said,”This is about services and programs from children. It’s about what they need everyday in the classroom.”The district will vote for the budget the for the 4th time on November 6th.