Opinion

SAD 4 school committee must cut more expenses

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To the Editor and citizens of SAD 4/RSU 80;
The SAD 4 school committee recently met and, as I predicted about a month ago, did not make any effort to reduce the expenses in the budget that it is submitting again to the district citizens. At a previous meeting, I had given the committee members a letter detailing over $100,000 of expenditures that could easily be cut and that would not affect student programming in any way. It continued to be totally ignored. The moral of the story is clear. Once again school committee steadfastly refuses to cut expenses as a way to bring the assessments under control. The vote was 7-3 with an unusually large number of board members absent.

People must get a grip on the fact that budget reductions must include cutting expenses. Otherwise, these dubious pads to the budget get rolled forward each year as part of the base budget, used as a way to add extra financial flexibility to the committee. It is like compound interest in that it is a geometric expansion of each year’s previously padded expenditure base. It is also like the teachers’ negotiated salary in which there are built in raises called steps, but the teachers also want an increase in the scale percentage which they claim is their only raise. It is fallacious logic.

This budget will be put to a public vote at the district budget meeting on Thursday, Aug. 24 and to a public referendum vote in the respective towns on Tuesday, Aug. 29. Please get out and vote “no” on this budget at all levels. Only your voices and votes will eventually force this committee to wake up. The school committee must cut more expenses! This problem will only get worse next year when the district has fewer students to generate state funds, even with the prospect of the state putting in more money than previously thought. The money issue has nothing to do with educational excellence which remains a grave concern. On that issue , the whole county needs to wake up. You continue to throw in more money locally with the expectation you are getting more. You aren’t.

Thank you.

Ann B. Bridge
Parkman

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