To The Daily Sun,
I attended the annual Winnisquam Regional School District meeting and someone proposed an amendment to cut the budget by 10 percent, which would mean a cut of approximately $2.47 million. The person who proposed the amendment talked about cuts made on the state level. The challenge was made to the school board to go out and find the money. After just a little thought, I wondered if he wanted the school board to go into the forest and look for the money tree, or search for a map leading to pirate treasure, or ask great Uncle George for a gift of $2.47 million, and then again, did he want them to ask the state of New Hampshire for it?
Personally, I think he knew full well that a cut of this magnitude means pink slips and cuts in programs. In the process, good people are hurt and student programs suffer. Remember now, it is the bottom line that counts.
There is a major move in this country to cut social programs and run everything as a business. It is a point of view leading to the destruction of safety nets like Social Security, Medicare, retirement plans and let's not forget the public schools. It's all about "lean and mean," "the bottom line," and "the survival of the fittest."
I prefer a different point of view. I feel that we have a responsibility to other people. We need programs that help our society function better. Social Security and Medicare were a big help in 2008 when the economy went sour. As we look back over the years, how do we measure the impact of public schools? Please do not misunderstand. We need to be responsible in the way we handle money, but the bottom line is not the only issue.
Because of changes in the law, public school have become very complex. Schools are required to work with severely handicapped students and with behavior issues that were not there in the 1960s and '70s. It is not just reading, writing and arithmetic now. We need to be concerned with behavior modification and basic social skills like never before. The schools need the help and support of the community, and certainly not a 10 percent cut.
I am very thankful that the voters decided to go with the recommendation of the budget committee. The school board and budget committee are elected by the voters and do a good job. This is not a high spending district and does not deserve to have its budget slashed in this manner. Thank you voters for looking at the big picture.