‘Let the voters decide’

The school board and budget committee that oversee Wilton and Lyndeborough schools, along with the district’s Strategic Planning Committee, have made the right choice in deciding to put the issue of full-day kindergarten into a warrant article for March town meetings.

“Let the voters decide” is, in this case, a positive step because, in small towns like these, voters have a greater monetary stake because the cost isn’t spread as wide. The fewer the people, the greater the cost to each household.

We also like the idea of keeping the kindergarten – now a half-day program — in Lyndeborough Central School which once housed several grades, but now only the one. The school is an important part of the small community and the fact that all of the town’s other students travel to Wilton each day doesn’t sit well with everyone. To move kindergarten there, too, would be a bad idea and one we hope is rejected.

And given the opinion of board Chairman Harry Dailey, it seems that is likely. He said recently that while moving kindergarten to Florence Rideout Elementary School in Wilton would have some short-term savings, Lyndeborough Central School already has kindergarten facilities in place, plus room for growth and an age-appropriate playground. And the bus route already exists.

We are not always in favor of the “Let the voters decide” mantra because too often voters make choices based not upon education but upon money. The total additional cost will be about $100,000 and, while that isn’t chicken feed, it isn’t end-of-the-world money, either. We think voters will see that.

In March, then, we trust the voters of Wilton and Lyndeborough will come out in droves. It’s an important decision and the fact that studies have shown huge benefits to kindergarten, having full-time instead of just part-time can only increase those benefits.