As students in Easton head back to school, Superintendent Roger Shaw tries to understand why Easton was the only school to lose money after lawmakers put 26 million dollars back into the department of education.
Shaw says, “You know to get a printout on the computer screen and see one red number and it was Easton’s…I was beyond shocked actually, I thought it was a mistake.”
From what the governor proposed back in May to what was enacted in late June – the Easton School Department lost 36 thousand dollars. Shaw says after getting this news – he contacted the State Department of Education’s Associate Commissioner in charge of finances – who told him the numbers were based on the valuation in the town compared to others.
Shaw says, “Obviously it’s alarming…and really makes no sense, and anything that he said really didn’t soften the blow, of course, and it didn’t make any more sense than beforehand.”
Shaw says he’s going to do all he can to get this straightened out. In fact, he spoke with the state commissioner of education on Monday, who agreed to work with the town and the School Department to try and resolve the issue.He hopes to get a supplemental piece of legislation to correct this — he says Easton is already the lowest receiver of state funds, and losing 36 thousand from that would have an impact.
Shaw says, ”It’s a teaching position. It would pay for all the paper and paper products would use in probably two years. So it’s a substantial figure.”
Easton Town Manager Jim Gardner spent the day down in Augusta speaking with senators and representatives who were shocked to realize that out of 236 school systems in the state, only ONE was impacted negatively by the enacted budget.
Gardner says, “To be honest with you, it’s not about the money..,it’s about the principle. I think it’s the fact that why? Why us?”
Shaw says, ”It’s an outstanding school. It performs well, and will continue to perform well. So we’ve had this little speed bump thrown at us and we’ll persevere and we’ll still provide a quality education for our students”
Gardner says right now folks in Augusta are looking into how they can put the 36 thousand dollars back into Easton’s budget.