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Region 12 budget just a 1.98 percent increase

May 30, 2018

There will be a second school budget vote on Tuesday, June 5th from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. for Region 12. I strongly encourage all taxpayers to vote YES! This vote is for the annual operational budget of the four schools in our region — Shepaug, Burnham, Booth Free and Washington Primary.

The budget of $21,811,407 represents a 1.98 percent increase. There continues to be misinformation circulating that this is a vote about AgSTEM — it is not!

The Board of Education (of which I am a member) has met many nights and looked long and hard at areas to cut the budget. The Region 12 superintendent originally asked for an increase of over 6 percent. The board has listened to the community and reduced that percentage substantially by cutting two buses, lowering the superintendent’s salary by $35,000, and cutting one full-time administrator.

The remaining 1.98 percent rise in the budget is from personnel contracts that can’t be renegotiated and health insurance premiums for Region 12 employees. Additional cuts would definitely affect the quality of the education we provide students.

Regions attract families when they have thriving schools. Homes get sold and critical volunteer roles are filled. Communities are at their best when their schools challenge and support every student to achieve ambitious goals. Supporting public education is a solid and thoughtful investment.

Please vote yes on June 5th and spread the word to neighbors and friends.

Julie Stuart