November 1, 2014

Letters to the Editor

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Support the school budget

Please support the Williston School District and vote yes on the 2013-2014 budget. The $17,468,262 budget represents a 5.09 percent increase, which provides sufficient funding to maintain the quality education that our community expects.

The school board and administration worked hard in the face of a number of budgetary challenges. Many of the expenses driving the school budget are increasing beyond our control. Health care expenses are expected to rise approximately 14 percent, fuel for school buses increased by 8 percent and increases in wages for faculty were mandated by the collective bargaining agreement. Meanwhile, federal grants monies that provided a buffer for funding instructional support in the areas of literacy and math have been exhausted.

Despite these challenges, the school budget maintains programming for literacy and math previously funded with federal grants. Other critical programs such as summer school and CY mentoring will continue. To address the needs of 21st century learning, this budget includes funding to provide iPads for next year’s fifth and sixth graders with the intention of extending 1-to-1 iPads for seventh and eighth graders the following year.

The school board was also mindful of the difficult economic environment that our community is facing. It asked for and received thoughtful cuts from the administration, including the reduction of FTEs for music and para-professionals.

We are fortunate to have a school district focused on providing an excellent education for our community’s children. Teachers are dedicated, well trained and effective in helping kids reach their full potential. Administrators have created a positive school climate to foster learning and growth for every student. And one cannot say enough about the engaged parents and community members that support our schools.

With your support for the 2013-2014 school budget, we can maintain the quality education our community expects, which is an investment in our children and our future.

Williston School Board members Joshua Diamond, Kevin Mara, Giovanna Boggero, Deborah Baker-Moody and Holly Rouelle.

 
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