To The Editor:
We are writing to urge all Newtown residents to vote “Yes” on the October 5th referendum. By accepting this generous grant from the state, we will be able to bring our children home to Sandy Hook and provide for the future children of Sandy Hook. This money is a gift from the state and will not impact our local taxes.
Just like any new building, a new school will have lower maintenance costs and will be more energy efficient. It will also be built to the most current security specifications. In the future, should the town only need six schools, our leaders will have the flexibility to repurpose an existing school for a different use at minimal expense.
Rebuilding Sandy Hook School will make the town whole again with seven schools. If the town does not accept this grant, we will have to make difficult decisions on how to bring our Sandy Hook School children back into Newtown when the lease at Chalk Hill School expires. This will inevitably mean redistricting the elementary schools into three buildings and/or reallocating grades between the schools. The likelihood exists that a choice such as this will increase class sizes and will require the use of portable classrooms to accommodate the number of children that would need to attend each school. As such, this is a choice that will impact every student and family in our school district.
School enrollment is cyclical. As our economy begins to improve and job opportunities in the area improve, families will be drawn to Newtown, for among other things, the quality public education. No one has a crystal ball to predict what enrollment will do in the future. It would be a terrible mistake to box ourselves into an irreversible decision now when we have the opportunity to keep our options open in the future at no cost to the town.
We moved to Newtown because of the quality of the schools and we believe in the neighborhood school concept. We owe it to the future generations of Newtown’s children to deliver a quality education in their home town. We urge you to vote “Yes” to the referendum on October 5th.
Daniel and Betsy Krauss
22 Beechwood Drive, Sandy Hook October 2, 2013