Voters urged to attend Deliberative Session
Friday, February 1, 2013
To the Editor:
I’m writing to encourage all Bedford residents to join me at the School District Deliberative Session on Feb. 5, at 7 p.m., in the Bedford High School Theatre. The Deliberative Session is an important part of the budget process for the school district, and it provides a critical opportunity for taxpayers to show their support for our district, our teachers and, most importantly, our students.
In recent budget cycles Superintendent Tim Mayes has worked with the Bedford School Board to find ways to cut costs while continually meeting the challenges of maintaining a first-rate school district during difficult economic times. Throughout these endeavors, the quality of education in Bedford has continued to be among the very best in New Hampshire.
What we as a community – taxpayers, board members, administrators, parents, teachers and students alike – have been able to accomplish in this district is a testament to the value that we all place on education. This is the value that we expect from our tax dollars, and it is a value that our school board has consistently delivered.
Given that track record of fiscal responsibility, we must acknowledge that, for the first time in several years, we face a situation in which the School Board has proposed a budget that is greater than the default budget. This proposal is a result of sound reasoning and thoughtful action on the part of the School Board.
The major cost increases in the proposed budget are necessary increases. The proposed budget addresses long-deferred capital improvements at McKelvie Intermediate School that are now imperative for the future viability of that building. The other major costs, increases in state retirement contributions and in costs for student transportation, are unavoidable and will be incurred regardless of whether the proposed budget passes. If the proposed budget fails, these mandated costs will force unanticipated and unwanted cuts to existing programs.
After several years of bare-bones budgeting, we need to protect our schools from further cuts to ensure that the investments we’ve made in quality education continue to pay dividends. Student achievement has been top-notch, and our increasing enrollments suggest that our excellent schools are a significant draw to living in Bedford.
All taxpayers should understand the importance that investments in education have for our town, for our property values, and for our students.
Please attend the School District Deliberative Session on Feb. 5 and show your support.