Support ConVal at the polls

To the editor:

Fellow ConVal voters, I’m asking you to support our proposed 2014-2015 ConVal district budget with your vote on Tuesday, March 11. This budget, originally developed by our staff in October and submitted by our superintendent in early November, has been examined and discussed by the board in our public meetings, and represents our attempt to balance providing a world-class education to the children in our towns with the economic constraints of our region and our residents.

Rising costs that affect us all combined with reduced revenue from the state have become the “new normal.” Since 2008, the cost of benefits to district employees have increased an average of 4.1 percent each year, and revenues from the state have decreased an average of over 2 percent each year. Over this same period, the district budgets have increased an average of 1.07 percent yearly, with the total amount assessed to our district towns increasing an average of 2.2 percent yearly. While the amount paid by each taxpayer may vary according to the assessed value of their town’s properties and the number of town students educated by the district, the numbers show responsible, realistic budgets ­— and that trend continues with the budget proposed this year.

Our district continues to achieve as we move toward our goal of becoming a high performing district. Two years ago, South Meadow again won the 2012 Middle School of Excellence award for New Hampshire. Just last year, ConVal joined Bedford High School as a finalist for 2013 High School of the Year. Although we didn’t win, ConVal is now competing with Souhegan, Bow, Bedford, and other schools recognized as “high performing.” This is a testament to the hard work and talents of our teachers, our staff, and our administration who have dedicated their careers to educating the children of our towns.

Through this process, we on the School Board did our best to further our mission to educate, to inform when there are questions, and to provide facts when there are rumors. I appreciate your support — together, we hold the future of our children’s education in our hands. Thank you.

Matthew Craig


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