[Jan. 27, 2014]
Keep reading to see a letter forwarded to me, purportedly written by the School Board chairman, Rob Collins, predicting the sky will cave in if a campaign to reduce the proposed school budget succeeds. Mr. Collins’ letter is a prime example of what is wrong with our elected officials. Don’t look for solutions, just keep siphoning more of the taxpayers’ money and insulting them when they object because it’s all for the children. Is it really? It is very instructive that he predicts awful things for the children and their families in just the first phase of cut backs. The district’s primary mission is to advance the students so why is it that they are the first on the line when there are sensible budget cuts? Do you see any administrators being let go in this first phase? Any secretaries? Non-teaching teachers? Nope. Right away children have to go without. If Mr. Collins is seriously suggesting these are possible consequences of a budget with no increase, parents should realize that the district is putting their own employees before the children they are charged to protect and instruct.
In this letter, Mr. Collins accuses me of wanting to cut $3.5 million at a budget committee meeting but what he fails to tell you is that motion was made when the proposed budget stood at $3.7 above the previous budget! Furthermore, that motion was to direct the school administration to come back to the committee with a plan as to how they would deal with a flat lined budget. The asked increase in the budget is now $2.5 million.
If the moderator will give me a chance to speak and show slides, I will prove that cost increases can be restrained without hurting children in any way – unless the administration decides to implement them in the most irresponsible way possible, which Dr. Metzler almost certainly will not. I can say absolutely that if any of these outrageous and alarmist things Mr. Collins is predicting come to pass, it will be only because there was a will to retaliate – not because it was necessary. (The Moderator has so far refused to allow me to use school equipment at the Deliberative.)
P.S. Timberlane has begun a new Capital Improvement Plan review. Dr. Metzler has said publicly that all options are on the table – including the closing of Sandown Central. So Mr. Collins’ threat to Sandown parents may come to pass whether or not they vote to restrain this out of control budget.
Here is the letter:
I’m sending this along to my friends and neighbors within Timberlane. Part of this is from a message I’ve sent out before that you may have received through other channels and the rest is an update so please read on.
There is an organized effort out of Sandown to reduce the budget at the Timberlane Deliberative Session, Thursday night 2/6 at 7 pm at the PAC. The woman who we believe to be directly involved with this effort is on the TImberlane Budget Committee. During their meetings she proposed several budget cuts, the largest $3.5 million. They were all voted down by the committee and she is now turning her attention to getting enough people to decrease the budget at the deliberative session.
Legally there is no limit to how much the budget can be decreased at the deliberative session.
I’ve been in consultation with the Superintendent and if a $3.5 million decrease were to move forward the School Board would be forced to make many difficult decisions because we would not be able to sustain our current status at that level of funding. Following are the consequences of a $3.5 million decrease in the budget, in no particular order.
- Close Sandown Central and, as a result, overcrowd other schools
- Eliminate middle school and freshman athletics
- Introduce a fee to play for all other athletics at the high school
- Reduce music staff and programs
- Introduce a user fee for participation in music programs
- Reduce the current engineering program at the high school – Project Lead the Way
- Collect a fee for transportation to and from school
- Increase class sizes
I am being told this would be the first phase. After assessing the situation we may need to consider further cuts. We do not want to even consider any of these but if we do not have enough people supportive of the schools, and our mission to improve all of our children’s education, in the room on February 6th then we might have to. It is imperative you attend the deliberative session.
PLEASE forward this to anyone you may know within Timberlane supportive of the schools.
We are taking this situation very seriously.
—————————————————–This is a re-post with small changes from Timberlane2015.wordpress.com A site devoted to Reducing the 2014-2015 Timberlane District Budget.