To the Editor:

It is time for a budget increase. We have been strangling our schools with passing limited budgets.

Our teachers are paid well below the area towns. We are losing good teachers to the likes of Brookfield and Danbury because they pay significantly more money at those schools for the same level of experience.

Even though many dedicated teachers stay in New Milford, they need to consider their own families, finances and retirement when making their decisions. We are eroding the teaching ability of our schools over time.

What people seem to forget is that costs increase each year: utilities, upkeep, insurance, contracted services, etc.

Salaries should also increase annually to keep up with inflation and cost of living. If the budget does not increase, it in effect is a cut to many programs and salaries.

Our town spends less on per pupil expenditure than all but 20 of Connecticut’s 169 towns.

That should not be a point of pride. That metric should tell us we are not just efficient and thrifty but also seriously under-funded.

Would you want to be in the bottom 12 percent in any other category in your business or life?

Not investing in our education and school systems impacts the town’s ability to attract business, maintain property values and support the children and families of this town.

We really are making it difficult each year for schools and ultimately, the town by continually under funding the school budget.

Budget hearings are happening right now. Educate yourself and consider supporting the proposed budget increase from the superintendent.

No one likes to pay taxes, but people need to support the town in which they live. Your housing value depends on good quality schools.

Don’t strangle ours.

Trish Grinnell

New Milford