Editorials published by the Goffstown Residents
Association are written by various members and
contributing non-members of the GRA.

January 11, 2008

An Open Letter to the Goffstown School Board
Why are sports, student busing and teachers your LOWEST priority items?

On December 4, 2008, you, the Goffstown School Board, presented an operating budget of $34.2 million to the Budget Committee. That committee initially recommended reducing that budget to $32.9 million. But after much heated debate and questionable tactics, you succeeded in securing a recommendation from the Budget Committee for $33.6 million. That equates to a miniscule reduction of 1.64% from what you initially proposed and is over $3 million more than you spent last year.

Then, at your January 5, 2009 meeting, you, the School Board, predicted that because of this $560K reduction in your multi-million dollar budget, “certain” items in your budget would “likely” have to be eliminated, or at the very least, drastically cut. And to the surprise of no one, those “certain” items, as has been heard repeatedly over the last few weeks from your chairman, Mr. Keith Allard, include student busing, teaching positions and sports transportation, i.e., the now-familiar “Big 3”.

To begin with, this is not only untrue, it is ludicrous for you to even be making such a prediction. By doing so, you are suggesting that every other item in your $34.2 million budget – and we’re talking hundreds of them – has a higher priority than bus service, teachers and sports programs. And let's not forget that included in those higher-priority items is the “fluff” that chairman Allard told the entire community on December 16th has been built into your multi-million dollar budget (click here for video).

It is not enough that you, the School Board, had the audacity to actually include “fluff” in your budget at a time when your constituents are struggling just to make ends meet. But what’s worse is that during your meeting you never suggested cutting that “fluff” out of your budget. Instead, you took aim at cutting our children’s school programs.

So we can presume your built-in “fluff” has a higher priority than busing, sports and teachers, right? By the way, what exactly is this “fluff” you have proposed spending our money on? How much is it going to cost us, and why is this “fluff” more important than busing our children to school and providing them with teachers and sports programs?

Instead of falsely predicting the need to eliminate our children’s programs, why aren’t you, the School Board, examining your own bloated administrative budget items for cuts that can be made THERE? 

How is it that you are telling us that our children's programs will suffer cuts, but you still have money in your budget for administrative raises and bonuses at a time when Americans everywhere are taking pay cuts, or losing their jobs outright?

And don't you think this is the wrong time to be purchasing land? Where is the money for this land purchase coming from? Could it be from the busing, teacher or sports budget lines?

Fortunately, we all know the answer to these questions. We’ve seen it time and time again from you. You are fooling no one. Everyone knows that eliminating high school bus service, teaching positions and sports transportation is not necessary and will never happen.

This is simply another example of your expertly-crafted fear mongering, which is a disgraceful, albeit familiar, scare tactic we’ve all seen you use before, and is a disservice to the taxpayers of Goffstown, especially during these difficult economic times.

Come on, school board. We know you can easily operate the school department with much less than you are asking for. Start thinking about the taxpayers, and stop thinking about your land purchases, raises and bonuses.  



Town and school officials out of touch with dire economic realities
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Stop School foxes from guarding their own henhouse
Budget Committee caves in amid School tactics
How the $chool Board - and government - is ruining Goffstown


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