February 25, 2011
2011-12 School Budget could cost even more

To the Editor:

Given the recent news that Goffstown School District may lose $ 1.16 million in state aid, now makes the budget that appears on the 8 March School District Warrant Article 2 even more costly. This budget could, if the aid goes away, result in an additional $ 1.00 per thousand of assessed valuation, on top of the approximate $ 1.00 already set to be voted on. I MUST REMIND EVERYONE THIS COST INCREASE IS ONLY FOR ARTICLE 2. If the remaining articles pass this will add to the tax rate as well. I cannot believe the School Committee did not have some information or idea that this might be a possibility when they presented their arguments for and received the budget we are now facing on the 8th of March. If in fact they did have this knowledge, then shame on them for pushing through the budget that was voted on at the deliberative session. 

If the aid does not come through and the worst case scenario does happen, then the School Committee must look long and hard at their budget and reduce the over abundance of staff who do not deliver direct educational services to the students of Goffstown. There was a very interesting Article on the front page of the 21 February edition of the New Hampshire Union Leader about salaries and a complete list was provided of all School employees. It is quite obvious, we do have an over abundance of staff who do not deliver direct educational services to students, this must be addressed. The money saved in salaries and benefits can be held in the budget for 2011-12 and used in 2012-13 as unreserved fund balance to reduce the tax rate impact of the 2012-13 budget. In other words, they do not have to spend every penny given them.

Much has been written and said about this topic and to reiterate what has been said would be and is counter-productive. What must be done now is to give a strong message to the current School Committee that enough is enough; it is time for a change in all areas. I urge the voters of Goffstown to come out on March 8th and vote down Articles 2, 3 & 4 and send a strong message to them we are not going to take this anymore.
Granted, the default budget will increase the taxes, but hopefully not as much if ONLY THE DEFAULT OPERATING BUDGET is voted in.

Benjamin H. Hampton



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