Urgent Appeal to Restore Funding for Academic Programs at Career & Tech Center
  1. United States
  2. Maine
  3. Letter

Urgent Appeal to Restore Funding for Academic Programs at Career & Tech Center

To: Gov. Mills, Rep. Runte, Sen. Lawrence

From: A constituent in Ogunquit, ME

December 14, 2023

I am writing to you as a concerned member of our community about a matter of great importance to the future of our students and our region. I recently learned about the unfortunate budget cuts affecting ​Ben Franklin Career and Technical Center, particularly the elimination of the academic program designed to support at-risk students. This program has played a vital role in providing essential educational resources to students who face unique challenges in their academic journey. I am writing to urge you to reconsider the decision to cut funding for the at-risk student academic program. This program has empowered students who may not thrive in traditional academic settings. By providing tailored support, mentorship, and specialized resources, the program has successfully helped numerous students overcome obstacles and develop the skills necessary for academic success and future employment. Investing in the education of at-risk students is an investment in the future of our community. By equipping these students with the tools they need to succeed, we are not only breaking the cycle of disadvantage but also contributing to a more skilled and competitive workforce. This, in turn, benefits our local economy and strengthens the fabric of our community. These are statements from students who benefitted from the academic programs: “This program changed my life. It made me the second person in my family in 3 generations to graduate high school and get a trade and I’d hate to see that opportunity taken away from future students. I used my work experience from the simulated workplace to get a job and make a career for myself.” “I struggled in my first year of school and was practically being told I wouldn’t have a single chance at graduating being where I was. The teachers helped me get to where I am. In my field of work I have to use the skills I learned almost every day.” “More one-on-one with teachers helped me make up credits to graduate.” “The teachers were much more understanding and were able to teach me in a way I understood. It also was a smaller class size so I was able to have more one-on-one experiences with the instructor.” “I was struggling in math at my high school and the teachers at Ben Franklin sat down one on one with me till I understood the concept.” “The math program, while I hated it at the time and thought it was boring, it is also the only reason I passed my math test with an above average score. The teachers explained things I wouldn’t have understood any other way.” I kindly request that you explore alternative solutions, advocate for additional funding, or consider reallocating resources to reinstate and sustain the at-risk student academic program at ​Ben Franklin Career and Technical Center.

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