Monday, June 09, 2008

School Budget Beheading

Recently the Middletown Town Council told the School Committee to cut an additional $186,000 from its budget. In a recent "Daily News" letter, School member Ned Draper (also on the Budget subcommittee) decried the late communication of this by the Council & referred to it as "an appalling surprise." I'll say. Doesn't allow much time for planning, does it

On Mon., June 16 at 6 pm there will be a Town Hall meeting. And as Ned aludes to, another in Nov. (translation- elections)/

Thanks are to be extended to the guv who says that we don't do enough to control local costs, the lege, who has yet to HELP fund education, and the federal government who has plenty to spend on war but little to spend at home.

On the chopping block are either all-day K or middle school sports. A devil's bargain if ever I heard one. What will be on the block next year? Councilor DiPalma suggested tapping into the beach fund which didn't even receive a second. I know, I know, it's designated beach monies to be used there. As far as I'm concerned, schools first, beaches second, but you're free to try & change my mind. It's all our monies anyway. If one group has to belt-tighten, evenone's belt gets tightened. That's what community means.

Yeah, I know, a 15% pupil decrease. But this doesn't mean much unless it's across one grade level, does it? For example, you can't say 15% less in heating costs, or 15% less for electricity or even staffing (although I believe 15 positions have been eliminated).

I'm with you, Ned, & left wondering why a more clear-cut bottom line demand wasn't communicated sooner. And why the guv decries being a high tax state but always ignores the reason we are just that- abnormally high property taxes caused by insuffficient state funding- especially in education.

Please feel free to add comments either way. Better yet, show up next Mon. & voice your opinion one way or another. This is the time!
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