Need to stop 'spend more' budgeting
To the Editor:
New Milford taxpayers need to realize voting `yes' to increases, or not voting at all, places the burden of out-of-control spending and taxing on our children now and in the future.
The Board of Education needs to consider how many taxpayers have been laid off or forced to accept $10 per hour jobs, with little or no benefits, in an attempt to pay their taxes while supporting their family.
I believe Superintendent Paddyfote's request for all-day kindergarten, requiring reportedly nine more teachers, plus hiring two literacy coaches, one math coach, two music teachers, one health teacher, one business teacher, one special ed teacher, one department head, stipends for three head teachers (an undisclosed amount) and reducing "pay to play" fees would be fiscally irresponsible.
She needs to get in touch with the economic situation of this country.
Furthermore, the taxpayers should have full disclosure of the salaries, benefits and pension payout potential to age 77, including eligibility requirements for all of these positions, before we vote.
She also indicated in 2012-2013 a plan to offer an early retirement package as a cost-cutting measure.
The taxpayers should be supplied with all the facts and cost of such an offer before the fact.
David Lawson's remark in a Jan. 21 article ("Full-day kindergarten proposed in New Milford") that some parents opted to send their kids to the Danbury magnet school because of their full-day kindergarten program is hard to swallow.
I believe they send them there for a better education, with the added bonus of not needing a babysitter for the other half day.
He further stated "It's most welcome news. And it's paid for. Everybody benefits."
This was in reference to $700,000 in federal education money.
Does he really think the federal government picks the money off the trees?
Wouldn't the best use of this money be to apply it to existing obligations and reduce our taxes (DIFTK)?
The reality is, whether the taxes are local, state or federal, they still come from us and reduce our ability to care for our families, while increasing the burden on the next generation of taxpayers.
Studies have shown preschool and kindergarten students versus those who start in first grade eventually even out in later grades.
This tells me the emphasis should be on the quality of their education, beginning in first grade, and not on adding more years.
Our so-called experts in education who set policy for our students need to swallow their pride and look to other countries where their systems far exceed ours in order to put our children and grandchildren on a level playing field.
Until we see positive change in our school system we should keep voting these bloated budgets down.
With the money we spend and the technology available, we should be No.1 in the world.
We need to put a stop to the "business as usual" cycle of budget requests to get more, spend more, want more that mostly benefits the faculty and staff.