A decision made with courage

To the editor:

It isn’t often we see such powerful response to community need as was witnessed last week when we had the privilege to learn of the powerful unanimous vote of ConVal Selectmen’s Advisory Committee on warrant articles and the $47 million budget.

For these many years we have seen this group representing 14,000 voters in the ConVal district do their thing providing responsible analysis and recommendations to the district’s budget committee. Per the Articles of Agreement, the Selectmen’s Advisory committee has an obligation to the ConVal Board to analyze the ConVal budget and this year they have recommend the budget be cut, slashed and four articles be cut as well. Wow! Tremendous.

If there ever was a time to realize the gross cost per student is inconsistent with the shrink in enrollment, now is that time. In a matter of years over 900 students are no longer walking the halls and the gross cost per student has escalated $5,000-plus. This year they exercised their right and obligation and voted unanimously to cut the budget. You’d think that’s great. Well it is, but I think they barely scratched the surface. Recognize down the road the budget is heading to $50 million dollars and a new teacher contract. Something has got to give.

This decision by the Selectmen’s Advisory Committee has taken courage and acceptance of their assignment. And the system works. While the Selectmen’s Advisory Committee’s cut of $1.7 million seems large, compared to the $47 million dollar budget, it’s a drop in the bucket. By a 6-4 vote, the School Board has rejected the cut and the special articles. And now the 14,000 voters get the chance to take sides and decide what is best. It’s  your decision.

Fran Chapman


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