2015-05-08 / Letters

Reject budget; close uneeded buildings

To the editor:

How do we provide a quality education for our children? We do it by hiring quality teachers, investing in and maintaining our facilities and providing the latest in curriculum opportunities, all of these with the idea of getting the most bang for our buck.

In the above, we fail in the area of facilities, wasting precious resources that could be better directed to programs offered to our children. The schools in our towns have lost a combined 660 students since the year 2000. With this year’s proposed budget, we will have ignored, for seven years, a state-funded study that recommended closing two of our schools.

We have capacity at our elementary schools for 682 additional students, the school board has refused to consider any options for dealing with the problem, instead proposing to repair two of our elementary schools at a cost of $17.7 million.

A report issued by the state, that calculates the amount of financial support to the district for the coming year, states that the staffing for RSU 21, exceeds state recommendations by 32 positions, a direct result of our maintaining excess schools.

While I am not recommending cutting the budget, I would ask that we reject the budget, and the facilities bonding requests only until such time that we get a firm commitment from the school board, to support closing unneeded schools.

Edward Geoghan

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