Educational Needs Cannot be Sacrificed
In a recent memorandum to the Board of Finance, Kirk Carr, second vice president of the Clinton Taxpayers Association, argues that it’s in everyone’s best interests to scale the education operating budget to the real educational needs of Clinton’s students, which he wrote is considerably less than the MBR (Minimum Budget Requirement). In spite of his graphs and pie charts, Mr. Carr is entirely wrong. Cutting the education budget to the level he proposes, the minimum funding allowed by state law, isn’t in anyone’s best interest.
As a community with an eye toward the future, we must appropriately fund our schools to meet our students’ needs as determined by the administrators and teachers—experts in education we’ve hired to assess those needs. Funding our schools at MBR with no regard for what our students actually need puts our schools and, more important, our children at risk of failure. The Board of Education strives to minimize the burden of educational expenses on Clinton’s taxpayers and has implemented myriad cost-containment measures. While the board takes its obligation to taxpayers seriously, it cannot be derelict in its primary duty of providing an appropriate learning environment and essential resources for students. Students’ educational needs cannot be sacrificed to meet an arbitrary number deemed acceptable by someone without the knowledge or expertise required to make that determination.
Under Superintendent of Schools Jack Cross’s stewardship, Clinton’s schools are moving in the right direction. Our test scores are improving each year; our high school was recently recognized by the College Board for its work in increasing student participation in Advanced Placement courses; our athletic programs are winning championships; our kids are thriving and learning and becoming better citizens of the world. I’m excited to be a part of this amazing work; I hope that Clinton’s taxpayers are, too.
Kimberly Buckley serves on the Board of Education.
Published April 29, 2015 – http://www.zip06.com/letters/20150429/educational-needs-cannot-be-sacrificed