What Zero Increase Means – by Catherine Staunton
During the budget season, many facts and figures are thrown around about the education budget—some to scare us, some to impress us—but I hope folks do their research and base their vote on real facts.
Years ago our district was accused of having one of the highest cost per pupil expenses of any town in the area. Now it appears we have the lowest. Neither is good, obviously. We have a district in which our schools win statewide awards because of our administrators and teachers.
At the town public hearing, someone said zero is the only answer. Zero increase means we fall behind providing our students what other students get in surrounding towns. Zero means many students won’t get the education they need because a classroom grew in size, or a literacy aide was cut and now there is no one to pay attention to those who need attention, those who need and deserve an education.
I find it astonishing that people think that an increase is arbitrary. I hope that voters know that each year, Clinton Public Schools has cut teachers, has not replaced teachers, and those they have replaced have rarely been with seasoned teachers who could handle a class of larger size. There are so many contradictions, it would take a whole newspaper to address.
Our reality is, we do what is best, and that means investing in education and showing up to vote “Yes” for what we know is right! I encourage your readers to vote “Yes” on May 10.