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Don't Build Another School

To the Editor:

Newtown taxpayers, our declining national, state, and local demographics do not support having our bankrupt state and federal government spending “$50 million” for a new school, when as a state our debt is over $49,000 per taxpayer with total Connecticut debt of $41.5 billion.

The baby boom is over worldwide. Some 17 countries participated in World War II and the boys came home after seven years of war and made a baby boom that resulted in extra growth worldwide. Today that is over. Nationally our birth rate has dropped from 2.5 children per family to 1.8 children per family. This huge 28 percent decline has almost every town in Connecticut closing a school or two. Also, a member of our town council admitted to me that within a few years of building this proposed school, that we would probably close Reed School. Thus…spending for spending sake…does not make sense given these declining demographics.

The alternative that has not been put forth publicly is bulldozing Sandy Hook School, making it a park and adding a wing to Reed School, which already has many empty classrooms and only houses fifth and sixth grades. We could probably do that for $28 million.

Last week WLAD said that our fall school enrollment was down some 200 students more than forecast; previously to that our school enrollment was down about 500 students from six years ago, before we vastly overbuilt our high school addition. This shows that many people are moving out of town, probably because there are few jobs to be found. What amount of decline in student population should we expect? If demographics are destiny, then we’ll see an eventual 28 percent decline in our school population, just like most other towns. Note: a decline of just 500 students divided by 20 children per classroom equals about 25 empty classrooms. This is a very good reason not to vote for a $50 million new school. Our demographics will not change in our lifetime, not until today’s young adults start having larger families. Note: our state’s overbuilding of schools the last ten years is responsible for about 20 percent of our state’s $41.5 billion deficit.

Although we experienced this unbelievable tragedy, we shouldn’t succumb to viewing ourselves as victims. God did not promise us a “rose garden”; He said: “Take up the cross and follow me.” And it’s not government’s job to indemnify us from the risks of life, no government could do so for long without going bankrupt.

Last but not least…we (our forefathers) did not build this great nation by viewing themselves as victims. And to quote Eleanor Roosevelt: “No one can make you a victim without your permission.” I encourage taxpayer’s to step up to the plate and vote No regarding spending $50 million and encourage our elected officials to rethink what they should do to face the realities of our declining demographics and our state and nation’s bankrupt condition while addressing only actual needs.

Daniel A. Kormanik

178 Hanover Road, Newtown                  September 12, 2013

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