As a teacher in the Dixfield area for the past 20 years, I have seen the challenges that rural school districts face, but I have also repeatedly experienced the upside of being an educator in a small town—the community takes care of each other. Across the school system, we do what we can to help our students. I see that in the administration, kitchen workers, bus drivers, teachers and support staff. I know that as senator, Sara will also be a champion for both our students and educators. 

Sara started in public service after volunteering in public schools in her community, and has held education as a core issue throughout her time in office. As Speaker of the House, Sara passed a budget with the largest share of state funding for K-12 education in recent state history. She also supported programs within the school system, like free lunch and school-based social work, that make a huge difference in the lives of our students. 

When we talk about education, we must address the accessibility of higher education. We’ve encouraged our kids to go to college, and now many are graduating with student debt that they cannot afford to pay. Sara passed the Maine Student Bill of Rights to address the affordability of higher education, and to help put a stop to predatory lending here in Maine. I know that she will continue to work in Washington to make higher education more accessible for all students. 

Sara is a person of integrity, and I think that’s what we need more of in Washington. We currently have someone leading the Department of Education in Washington who does not believe in public education. The ripple effect of damage that causes across our entire country is frightening and frankly disheartening to those of us who have dedicated our lives to making our public schools better, for every child. To have a senator in office that says what they mean, and means what they say, will benefit not only our schools, but our entire state. 

When it comes to education, Sara Gideon supports it, values it, champions it—and that’s why I am voting for Sara in the U.S. Senate election. 

Rachel Buck, Peru