To the Editor:
With the budget referendum vote taking place next Tuesday, April 23rd, now is the time to show our support for our schools and teachers. We currently have openings for principals at Newtown Middle School, Reed Intermediate School, and, tragically, Sandy Hook Elementary School. If we want to attract outstanding candidates for these leadership positions, we need to let them know that our town is committed to excellence in education.
The Board of Education's budget must meet its contractual obligations, such as salaries and benefits; and mandated costs, such as transportation and out placements for special education students. These costs will not lessen or be cut if the budget does not pass. The cuts will come from programs for our students: technology, athletics, arts, full-day kindergarten, to name a few.
The budget requests that our teachers, coaches, librarians, guidance counselors, etc. have made are not frivolous. They have been questioned, critiqued, approved, and/or declined by department chairs, principals, Superintendent, and the Board of Education long before we, the voters, make a decision about them. We need to trust that all of these people have the best interests of our students – our children – in mind. These educators are asking for the tools to provide the students with the superb education that Newtown is known for.
If you think that our teachers are paid too much, (they are not) or that they don't deserve the benefits they get, (they do), voting against the budget is not going to send that message. The message it will send is that we don't want our students to get the best education that our teachers can provide to them.
Please vote yes for the education budget. Show our students, our teachers, and the future leaders of our school district that we support them.
9 Bayberry Drive, Newtown April 16, 2013