The Hollis Brookline apportionment debate

To the Editor:

In each of our towns, we pool the costs of our schools. We happen to live within the same town boundaries, so we share together as a community in the cost of educating the children.

Taxpayers aren’t charged according to the number of children they send to the school. The school costs are spread at a uniform rate over all the property in the town.

Years ago, our two towns voted to join together to form a cooperative school district. Only the naïve such as I would have thought that the costs of the co-op would be handled similarly.

The present apportionment debate is about self interest. Each town’s taxpayers want to bear as little expense as possible. However, fairness should also be a part of this debate. The role which that consideration plays in this discussion is a reflection of who and what we are.

Facts are elusive, but several things are certain: Brookline households bear a proportionately greater financial burden for the costs of the co-op. There are more Hollis students in the co-op than Brookline students. The facility the two towns have built and are paying for is in Hollis. Hollis has a larger property base over which to spread the costs. Hollis has more voters.