No Conspiracy to Bilk – By Valerie Nye
Funding education for the future of Clinton is not just math. Clinton’s enrollment has decreased by 224 students since 2009, a trend that is seen all across the state as towns with much larger declines are requesting much larger budget increases. In that time 10.8 teachers have been cut. This year the budget includes an overall reduction of 3.4 teachers. To say or write that recent staff reductions do not correlate to declining enrollment is not just bad math, it is blatantly and intellectually dishonest.
Credible contrasting viewpoints are welcome as we are, after all, part of the democracy of this great nation. Those who advocate for Clinton’s kids accept contrasting viewpoints all the time and we expect the same from our elected leaders. I accept that there are two paths to prosperity: Invest in the education of the future or slash your way there. I expect leaders to understand the source and context of surpluses, unanticipated retirements within one percent of the budget, and not wave the same flag year after year. I expect everyone to understand that the opposite of a surplus is a deficit and deficits are bad. I also expect everyone to have confidence in the truth that our Board of Education is only recommending what it knows to be needed to properly run our school system, no more, no less and certainly no conspiracy to bilk taxpayers.
I hope Clinton voters take the time to understand the context of what a 0.48 percent increase in education operating request means among shoreline towns with which we compete in the real estate market. It has already been reduced from its original request and contains many areas of reduced spending. I encourage your readers to vote “Yes” on May 11 and give our teachers the resources they need to build a strong future.
Valerie Nye is treasurer of the Clinton PTA.
Article Published May 4, 2016. http://www.zip06.com/letters/20160504/no-conspiracy-to-bilk