Letter: Approve the Falmouth school budget

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For six years we have served as elected members of the Falmouth School Board. As our terms end, we thank the voters for their trust. We satisfied that trust by doing our best in weighing the needs of our school system against the need to keep taxes in check. For the second year running, the board adopted a budget requiring no property tax increase. The budget also spends less on education than was spent the previous year. This was no easy task, especially given reduced state aid. Consequently, some teachers at the high school will teach more classes to accommodate increased enrollment; fewer electives will be offered; administrators’ salaries will not increase; families will be required to pay for student participation in sports and activities, and other impacts will be felt. As we write this, there is no teacher contract for the coming year. Clearly, the board tries to keep personnel costs – by far the largest expenditure in the budget – within reason.

Some loud voices in our community demand even more reductions in expenditures, and have resorted to tactics creating more heat than light. That is certainly their right. But each of us has lived in Falmouth for many years, and we know that our community values excellent schools as well as wise stewardship of resources. We also know that the proposed budget meets reasonable educational needs while maintaining fiscal responsibility. Trusting in the reasoned voice of Falmouth’s voters, we ask you to approve the school budget on June 8.

Linda Cote and Mark Terison