To the Editor:

The vote in April 2014 decided two matters: the elementary schools will remain in the three towns and the middle/high school will remain open.

The proposed Agriscience STEM project cost is actually $35.7 million with $27 million funded by the state of Connecticut, leaving $8.7 million to be funded by Region 12.

The other portion of the project referendum is for necessary renovations and site work unrelated to the Agiscience STEM program.

The estimated increase in operating costs of $900,000 added to the bonding cost of the $8.7 million over 20 years of $630,000 equals a budget increase of $1,530,000.

Tuition for each out-of-region student is $10,000, therefore, you would need only 153 such students to remain budget neutral.

It is my opinion that this is achievable.

In May of 2014, I wrote a letter to the editor that we needed a new paradigm for the future of the high school; a pathway not just for education, but for future employment.

We can and must develop programs to encourage our students to stay with us and to draw students from other towns to a revitalized high school.

The board of education and the superintendent are to be commended for bringing this Agriscience STEM proposal to Region 12 with overwhelming support from the state of Connecticut.

This program will fill seats in the general classes and make the class sizes better along with re-vitalizing the Shepaug campus.

My family and I will be voting “yes” on Nov. 10.

Gerald J. Ronan