Preserve East Lyme's commitment to education

The Town of East Lyme Finance Committee once again reduced the Board of Education budget. Furthermore, the committee suggested how it would prefer revising that budget. Fortunately for the children and taxpayers of East Lyme, the Finance Committee does not have the power to dictate the distribution of those funds.

According to state records, the current spending per student in East Lyme is below the state average and is below that of nearby school systems including Waterford and Lyme/Old Lyme. It is apparent, based on the condition of our schools, that the Board of Education has prioritized student education over building maintenance. I believe the board has made the correct choice as our schools routinely do well, with both the Niantic Center School and the East Lyme Middle School recently receiving the "Excelling" classification by the Connecticut State Department of Education.

Repeated reductions in the education budget have led to the deferred maintenance. The impulsive recommendation to close a high-performing school and redistrict without giving any consideration to the community or the children is irresponsible. The Board of Education is taking steps to address the schools' future. But the larger concern is a lack of foresight for properly funding them. The Town of East Lyme built a strong reputation on its academic strength. Sadly, this reputation is at risk if we continue to underfund our children.

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