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Letter: Vote ‘No’ on the School Budget

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To the Editor:

I am a Montpelier resident and taxpayer and I urge the voters of Montpelier to vote no on the upcoming school budget. The exorbitant increase in the school tax that this budget will require is simply too great to be borne by many in our community. I am especially concerned for those residents on low or even moderate fixed incomes who will be extremely burdened by what will likely be a 20-24 percent tax increase. This increase will also make growing the school population more difficult, since who wants to, or can afford to, move into a community with such high taxes.

There is a ready solution to at least part of this problem: Close the Roxbury Village School with its $1.5 million price tag. Some say this would be a sudden and unplanned change with negative consequences for Roxbury. The continuation of funding for that small elementary school was promised for five years. I believe that time frame has ended. Planning for that change should have taken place during those years. The Montpelier schools have room to incorporate both those elementary students and most, if not all, of the staff who work there. And, those students will have more educational opportunities here. 

Voting no on the school budget will send a clear message to the school board that it cannot stand pat on its initial proposed budget, and to the Legislature that it must find a better way to generate the funds to support education, such as basing education taxes on income rather than property, and to reduce the burden of the myriad responsibilities that schools have been saddled with over the last 50 years.  

Steve Gold, Montpelier