To the Editor:

On May 2, the voters in Washington, Roxbury and Bridgewater need to send a message to the Region 12 Board of Education. The message is simple: “no.”

The budget deserves to fail. Here are some reasons.

Our student population continues to decline. The ranking of Shepaug High School is dropping (ranked number one in Connecticut by the NICHE ratings). The administration is overpaid but gets raises.

The superintendent is one of the highest-paid in the state and the highest-paid on a per-student basis. Last year the superintendent authorized $100,000 on AgSTEM to get “shovel ready” without board knowledge or permission.

Many board members have served more than 20 years, have done nothing to stop a 20-year decline and continue to avoid the hard decisions to control costs.

They are now rejecting a proposal that will save $500,000 in the budget. This proposal suggests that Bridgewater and Roxbury merge classes for the elementary schools. Grades K-2 would be taught at Booth Free School in Roxbury and grades 3 to 5 would be taught at Burnham School in Bridgewater.

The towns are divided, thanks to the administration and board. Legal fights are brewing.

Who is looking after the best interests of our students and the taxpayers? How did we get to this point?

We clearly need new, innovative and inclusive management soon.

The Region 12 board and the administration will get this message if everyone who is concerned comes to vote.

Loy Wilkinson

Bill Macgeorge

Richard Jones

Bridgewater