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Letter: Feb. 6 is a day to remember

To the editor:

Open invitation to all ConVal families who love high taxes, who love having only 5 to 10 kids in a class, who easily ignore Food Service’s annual $300,000 to $400,000 losses, who feel no worries about school safety. If so, then come to the ConVal deliberative session on Feb. 6.

On the other hand if you’re skimping to keep body and soul alive, shutter at the thought of another gross cost per student increase, are worried if you can afford ConVal’s fat cat spending philosophies, you too better be at the ConVal deliberative session on Feb 6.

The School Board is in total disarray. They will offer up a proposal to give the board full control of facilities and authority to close any school, anywhere they decide.

Think that’s bad, they refuse to put the food service program out to bid despite annual $400,000 losses and they are playing games with the enrollment collapse, ignoring the fact we will have experienced a total loss of 1,000 students from our beginnings in 1970 to 2020.

Why doesn’t their budget proposal reflect the changing needs of our schools? It seems logical that if enrollment has dropped 425 since 1993 and fuel oil, electric, water, irrigation, fertilizer and many other expense items increase, the per student cost will escalate.

But we will use fewer paper supplies, feed fewer breakfasts and dinners, fewer will require retirement payments, fewer will have health insurance, etc, but the biggest driver in the budget is always the number of teachers, paraprofessionals and administrators.

We can go back to 1993 — enrollment was 2,778 and we had 219 teachers. Year 2013 — enrollment is 2,353 and we have 262 teachers. That’s 43 extra teachers. It’s scary. But that’s the problem. That is why our costs do not reflect our classroom needs.

Make a difference. Be there Feb.6 at the ConVal deliberative session.

Fran Chapman

Peterborough

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