Letter: People matter, not programs

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I have been quiet about the School Administrative District 51 budget, expressing my concerns directly to the Board of Directors. However, if the fiscal 2010 budget passes, and I say nothing, I will feel like I should have spoken up. I am very concerned about the property taxes in our community, especially for senior citizens. I am also a teacher at Greely Middle School, so that puts me in a precarious position. That said, I will not be supporting the proposed budget.

Simply stated, the budget as presented does not value what I value. While I respect the directors for holding the line in consideration of taxpayers, I would like to see more focus on what is important to us, specifically the children of our towns. The proposed budget spends money on new programs while cutting people who work directly with students. It is a message the Directors heard at the public hearings, and while they are tasked with making difficult decisions, the only method I have to disagree with those decisions is with my vote. I believe the challenges provide an opportunity to discuss what is important to us. For me, it is our children and all the people who work directly with them. I believe it is people, not programs, that make a difference in students’ lives. This is a conversation I hope to begin by voting no.

Councilor Shirley Storey-King