At Monday night's school
deliberative session, the school board proudly demonstrated to the
nearly 160 residents in attendance that although costs for such items as
insurances and fuel had increased significantly, the school board
sharpened their pencils this year and made cuts totaling nearly $1M to
various areas of their budget to compensate for those increases.
The result was that they delivered a level-funded operating budget for
Kudos to the school board for that effort. You've shown the
taxpayers what you can do when you put your minds to it.
Articles 3 and 4 are in addition to that
operating budget (Article 5), and are directly related to well-deserved raises for school support staff and
teachers, totaling $852,221 this year - a microscopic figure when compared to
an overall operating budget of over $33M.
With that in mind, I challenge the school board to sharpen their pencils
once again and further reduce the operating budget by an additional
as to cover the costs of that increase in teacher and support staff
contracts (which they richly deserve) WITHOUT RAISING OUR TAXES AGAIN this year to
This figure represents a mere 2.5% of the current budget, which means
the school district would operate on $32,405,196 instead of $33,257,417.
That doesn't seem outside the realm of possibility to me. I doubt
anyone in Goffstown
realistically believes that the school district could not operate
efficiently on that slightly reduced amount.
Indeed, does anyone believe that an individual earning $52,000 annually
couldn't survive on $50,700?
I don't know if such a reduction is legally possible now that the
deliberative session has already been held, and unfortunately I didn't
think of this until I was already on my way home last night. But, if it is
NOT legally too late, I then challenge the school board to do it
immediately, before the March 13th ballot is printed.
If it IS legally too late for this year, then I challenge the school
district to show us an $852,221 surplus at the end of this fiscal year, and
to again level-fund next year's operating budget while including
next year's $907,915 increase the teacher's contracts are going to cost
I urge the school board to accept this challenge. Such courageous
acts are what we voters put you in office to do in the first place,
aren't they? I'm sure you can cut a few pet projects here and
there...maybe buy only 9,000 pencils instead of 9,500? Turn the
thermostat down an extra degree or two at night? Perhaps using ID tags
to identify your custodians would suffice instead of buying them all uniforms?
Do whatever it takes. Just don't tell the voters that you can't do it,
because you've already shown us that you can. Why not go for the
home run, school board?