Temple out of line with rest of district

To the editor:

A few weeks ago this newspaper reported that the Temple Select Board voted to study the process of leaving the ConVal School District. There have been some who have expressed concern that one of the nine towns that make up the district would leave. I would suggest that public concern should be tempered and that the threat of Temple leaving the district should not upset the remaining towns or the school district itself.

Over the last five years the people of Temple have voted to approve only one district budget — in 2011 with only 55 percent in favor. In 2013, 29 percent voted to approve the budget; in 2012, 36 percent; in 2010, 33 percent; and in 2009, only 38 percent voted in favor of the district’s budget. When in 2012, the district proposed a bond to finance renovations to the ConVal gym, only 42 percent of Temple voters approved it. Only 33 percent approved a bond initiative in 2010 and 39 percent approved a bond initiative in 2009.

Temple has been a town in opposition to just about everything the administration and the School Board has tried to do, from improving our academic programs through the budget, to doing much needed renovations. Over the past seven years the School Board member from Temple has been in the minority of almost every important vote taken by the board. The representatives often worked to oppose the decisions that the board put forward to the voters of the district. Temple was the Petri dish in which the two petitioned ballot initiatives to close Great Brook School were conceived. Petitions which were marketed as protecting elementary schools, a claim which was both false and disingenuous.

While the Select Board members in Temple have taken the first step to leave the district, the voters of Temple have been expressing dissatisfaction with the ConVal School District, its board, and its administration for many years. Perhaps the rest of us should honor their feelings and help facilitate their leaving.

George Kidd


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