Dear Orono Community,
As many of you are aware, the Orono technology levy failed to pass in the November 2020 election. Subsequently, the Orono Foundation for Education (OFE) has received questions concerning whether OFE will attempt to raise the funds that the Orono Public Schools district sought to collect through the tech levy. Unfortunately, OFE has determined that it is not a feasible goal for our organization.
OFE is proud to have raised $8 million over the last 20 years fundraising for Orono Schools’ programs, teacher training, and materials that are not covered by state funding. In a typical year, OFE grants the schools anywhere from $250,000 – $500,000. The referendum sought to raise $2 million a year for the district’s technology needs. Given that this is significantly more than what OFE raises in a typical year, it is not a realistic ambition for OFE to fill this need. Additionally, OFE does not wish to divert the funds it currently raises because the Orono School District relies on OFE’s annual grants to pay for other school programs. In sum, the OFE Board and its many dedicated volunteers will do all that we can to support our schools by raising funds as we have for the past 20 years, but we will not campaign to raise the monies sought through the tech levy.
Many of you have contacted OFE to ask about the levy and how you can help going forward. The School Board will be making a decision later this year regarding how to proceed, but in the meantime, if you are interested in learning more about the tech levy, please visit www.oronotech.com or you can reach out to Lyssa Campbell, Orono Schools Director of Communications (firstname.lastname@example.org), to learn how you can get more involved.
OFE Board of Directors
Juliann Luce Knorp