By defeating a school budget that had already been stripped bare, voters in Scarborough are sending an unfortunate message to young families, entrepreneurs or anyone else who wants to see our town stay vibrant: “Don’t bother to come here, the future is somewhere else.”
They may think they are taking a stand against higher taxes, but in reality, by targeting schools, those who value lower taxes above all else are trading against the future, setting in motion a cascade of consequences that will diminish Scarborough’s appeal as a place to live and work. The fruits of their “victory” will be underfunded schools that lag those of our neighboring communities; quality teachers leaving to educate the children of towns willing to support their schools; weaker college applicants that suffer for lack of opportunities in the arts, academic competitions, community service and sports; and quality education reserved for those children whose parents have the financial resources to provide what the school system no longer can.
Unfortunately, unless those who support strong schools start flexing their muscle at the ballot box, people in search of a quality education for their children will start looking elsewhere. And Scarborough will be the poorer for it.