2011-06-02 / Letters to the Editor

Budget reduction bad for schools

The Jamestown School Committee welcomes scrutiny of the school budget.

The proposed fiscal year 2012 school budget preserves and supports rigorous programming and strategic improvement initiatives at our schools. Our administrative team again employed a zero-based budgeting format – building the budget up from zero instead of the traditional mode of making incremental increases to the previous year’s budget. The result is a fiscally responsible budget that calls for a 1.99 percent increase in the town contribution.

If approved at Monday’s Financial Town Meeting, the combined town and school budget will result in a 1.09 percent increase in the property tax rate.

The Taxpayers’ Association of Jamestown has filed a warrant to reduce the combined town and school budget by $601,350, the total proposed increase. The school budget accounts for 25 percent of this increase.

We salute members of the association for their active interest in town government and close scrutiny of town budgets. Holding elected offi cials accountable for their decisions is a crucial component of the democratic process.

The Jamestown School Committee holds itself accountable for exercising fiscal responsibility and ensuring efficient use of district resources. We respectfully caution voters that the reduction of $601,350 sought by the association will intensify the challenge the schools face as we strive to sustain quality programming in the face of reduced state funding.

We hope to see you on Monday. You are the “public” in our island’s public education.

Cathy Kaiser
Jamestown School Committee

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