Support the 2017 Yarmouth school budget


Your support matters:

  • June 7 Town Meeting @ Harrison Middle School @ 7:00

  • June 14 Public Vote @ AmVets

Yarmouth schools set the standard for excellence in Maine. The proposed 2017 budget maintains this tradition of excellence while responding to a growing student population, increased diversity, and targeted needs. 

It is lean.  It is responsible.  Please support it. 


 More reasons to support the budget:

It meets real needs:

  • The student population is growing.  We’ve gone from 1400 to 1600 students in the last six years.  This budget barely catches up with student growth.  

  • Indeed, there will still be unmet need.  Several of the classes (e.g. 2nd grade, 4th grade) have sizable population bulges.

  • The population is becoming more diverse in terms of ELL (English Language Learners), children using instructional support, and gifted and talented; this requires funding under State law.

  • Several programs have outgrown their staffing (e.g. music) to the point where students feel frustrated and are underserved.

  • Per-pupil spending is only in the middle of the pack among greater Portland and has been dead flat for many, many years.  It hasn't kept up with inflation.

  • The Town’s own per-pupil spending has actually dropped steadily over the last six years.  The State has been picking up the slack.  We can do better.


It stretches our tax dollars effectively:

  • System administration represents 3.6% of the overall budget. (No curriculum director, no assistant superintendent, no technology director – common in other districts.)

  • The FY2017 proposed budget will increase the school taxes in Yarmouth by only 0.35%, since the State is picking up most of the proposed additional cost. 

  • Because school taxes are only one part of your tax bill, the overall town budget will actually result in an overall slight decrease in local taxes.

  • This is a maintenance budget – just catching up on student growth.  There are no frills in this budget.

  • It includes very limited increases in FTE’s for a  few positions (e.g. music, math, nursing).

  • It has a contingency fee for unexpected changes and needs - some of which will surely happen - but it's less than 0.4% of the budget.  No multi-million dollar budget can be run leaner than that.

  • The budget process is separate from the property tax revaluation process (which result in higher valuations and a correspondingly lower mill rate; i.e. a net wash in the aggregate).


It sustains a strong community for all of us:

  • Yarmouth is a wonderful place to live and work because of our schools and the quality of its graduates, many of whom choose to remain or return here.

  • New residents come here because of our reputation.

  • Our schools bind us together.  Strong schools = strong sense of community = strong Yarmouth. 

  • Schools sustain property values.  If our schools fail, our property values will drop.

  • I.e. We all benefit from strong schools.


It helps educate the next generation – extremely well:

  • Yarmouth schools are the best in the State; we’re building on a tradition of excellence.  Check it out.

  • YES had the highest standardized scores in the State of Maine this year. 

  • YHS is consistently ranked at or near the top in the State.  Check it out.

  • Schools determine our children’s and our collective success; Yarmouth’s schools are preparing the next generation to compete (and support us all).


It says “yes” to the future:

  • Despite the critical need for this budget, a handful of opponents have organized a “no” campaign. 

  • A no vote or any effort to chip away at this budget would be awful for Yarmouth – for its kids, its residents, and its reputation.

  • A “yes” vote will reinforce our collective commitment – and solidify our reputation as a leader in Maine.


Join us

Find out how you can join in and support our schools.

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