August 23, 2019
BANGOR DAILY NEWS (BANGOR, MAINE

Just an `easy A’?

The MSAD 1 school farm is taking a major bite out of the local businesses and at the astronomical way it is growing, the bite is going to get bigger. Sliced strawberries, bedding plants, canned and frozen products, hanging baskets, potted plants, vegetables, mums, poinsettias, fish, processing plant and a lunch counter. What’s next? More land, a second greenhouse, clothing, maybe a gift shop? All under the disguise of education and on the backs of the taxpayers. This school system seems to have no end to what its school budget can buy.

The consumer is going to the MSAD 1 school farm, as many as 178 cars a day by the school’s estimation. Didn’t Presque Isle’s zoning board just turn down a woman who wanted to buy an empty house, pay property taxes, employ a person besides herself and maybe add four cars an hour on Academy Street? It doesn’t make sense.

Reports of the number of students in the program have been inconsistent. Of the graduates in the program, how many go on to Orono or another land grant university to continue their agricultural studies? Is this program just an “easy A” for the students?

We should be questioning the wisdom of a program that trains students in skills in an area of the state where those skills are not needed. What are they doing to retain our young people? These students will not be able to return home and compete with the very same subsidized program that helped to train them.

Education is MSAD 1’s job, not operating a commercial enterprise that is in direct competition with our local businesses. Beware, other communities in Maine. Look closely at any attempt, under the disguise of education, at your school system wanting to go into business, and using the students for free labor, calling it a “hands-on” approach to education. Russell Bugbee Presque Isle


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