Letter to PTA Members and Friends – May 22
Dear PTA members and friends,
Only two days remain for us to do the very thing the PTA advocates for most, EDUCATE the public! Misguided social media posts and subsequent uninformed cheerleading and “likes” cast doubt in the minds of people who would otherwise vote in favor of our budgets. We all have to empower ourselves and others with the facts required to combat misinformation and hearsay…swiftly and confidently…both in person and on the web.
This Wednesday May 23rd, when we go back to the polls, our charge is to show that we are not going to allow a minority of misinformed voters, some with personal agendas, to damage our school system and harm our property values. We have to get out the vote. This is a responsible budget that already includes the following CUTS – that are ANYTHING BUT TOKEN:
- 6.5 teachers (bringing 3 year total to 20 teacher and 10 paraprofessionals)
- Business secretary (in addition to 1.5 custodians last year)
- Programming (Swimming program, Rise and Shine before-school math and literacy programs)
- Supplies and materials
- Professional development
This is in addition to other reorganizations and decisions that will have major impacts:
- Major restructure of Eliot teams
- Major Principal and teacher changes at schools
- Increased class sizes
- Necessary school maintenance & repairs postponed.
All of this done to meet the rising costs of state mandated transportation (44% of increase), employee benefits (43% of increase), tuition and energy costs.
So bear with me again as I delve into a few topics/pictures in hopes that it is enough for you to talk to your friends and neighbors about the importance of supporting the education budget this Wednesday:
How can budget go up when enrollment declines? The projected enrollment decline is 41 students. It is important to remember that these declines are spread across 12 grades! Some go up, some go down.
The Consumer Price Index, (which measures the rise or fall in prices of goods people commonly purchase) rose 2% in 2018. According to the US Bureau of Labor statistics, prices for energy were 6.9% higher in 2018 vs. 2017. Prices go up. The school has made adjustments to ease the tax burden while trying to provide all the necessary services the town expects.
How does Clinton compare to surrounding towns? Is it important to compare to surrounding towns? ABSOLUTELY – for property values and a quality workforce. Clinton competes with surrounding towns for people looking to move or work on the shoreline.
It’s a proven fact supporting education attracts families (realtor.com), increases property values, and decreases the mill rate.
Please Vote YES Wednesday and spend the next few days advocating for others to do so as well. Share facts on all social media platforms, text your friends and talk to your neighbors! The CTA builds a mountain of negativity as they spend unlimited amounts of money in an attempt to tear down our schools and towns, slashing budgets that, in any other town, would be considered reasonable. The PTA cannot spend unlimited funds like the CTA. We must climb this mountain every year and find over 1,800 supporters in our small shoreline town when other towns pass with less than 1,000 voters total. But we have you! Help us find those people. There’s no better civics lesson for our children.
Let the facts inform your vote:
Valerie Nye, PTA President