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August 5, 2020
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Unacceptable and Completely Tone-Deaf

Published April 15, 2020

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Regarding the April 9 articles on the Region 4 Board of Education (BOE) and Chester BOE submitting budget increases, and the state waiving of a vote: It is unacceptable and completely tone-deaf that any increase was put forth. If there ever was a time for the boards of education to be mindful of the burden of their costs to the towns and taxpayers, it is the present.

Now the public does not even have the opportunity to vote. If the state can waive a vote, why can’t it freeze contract obligations?

No one is looking out for the public, who is expected to pay, with no voice, despite the hardship. According to our elected BOE members, by state statue, they represent the BOE, not the public. Then why are these elected positions? This is misleading to the public.

Education costs are already 80 percent of the entire town budgets; the towns should not be expected to further use rainy day funds to offset higher taxes due to BOE’s ever-increasing costs. Who knows what the economic climate will be now?

It is long past time that local education act like it is part of the community, instead of a separate entity, and share in the sacrifices.

I encourage your readers to contact their local officials and BOE. I implore all involved in crafting these budgets to revise, adjust, and at the very least, submit a realistic flat, or better yet, reduced budget at this time.

Karin Badger
Chester