ConVal budget worth the expense

To the editor:

They say that taxes are the price of civilization. The part of my tax bill that I hand over most enthusiastically is that which supports civilization most directly, the money that goes to the ConVal School District! As a former teacher in another district, a parent of two young adults who received an excellent start in Dublin and Peterborough, and a past six-year member of the School Board, I am a wholehearted supporter of the district’s excellent teachers and administration. There is nothing more important to our families and communities, or more conducive to the future growth of the region, than an excellent public school system.

I was therefore incredulous when the chairman of Dublin’s Select Board, Charles Champagne, wrote in a recent viewpoints piece that the district should abandon its quest to become a high-performing district because progress is slow and the goal might not be “achievable.” What a self-defeating conclusion that we should settle for the status quo because to devote resources to educational progress is too expensive! Mr. Champagne further suggests that the School Board and administration devote three months of their time to coming up with “a more efficient and effective program to educate our children.” This condescending suggestion indicates to me that Mr. Champagne considers the work of the district simply an annoying and expensive commodity that raises his tax bill. In fact, he doesn’t understand public education at all — nor does he seem to care to.

The Selectmen’s Advisory Committee, of which Mr. Champagne is a member, seems to avoid learning about the work of the schools. In the six years I served on the Education Committee, I don’t once recall a member of that group attending a meeting to discuss, for instance, the rationale for our goal to become a high-performing district. Instead, they prefer to meet and carp about the money. By the time this letter appears, ConVal’s budget, which contains none of the “excess” Mr. Champagne suggests, will hopefully have been passed by the voters of the district, who have their priorities straight.

Mary Loftis


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