EL needs a school budget that puts kids first

The recent vote by the East Lyme Board of Finance to cut the school budget by $550,000 should be a call to action by those who value the quality of life in East Lyme. This shortsighted decision by the board not to invest in the future is compounded by the misguided set of priorities established by the school superintendent and Board of Education.

As part of the budget request the superintendent included over $500,000 in new spending, most of it funding several new administrative positions. None of the additional dollars were set aside to enhance programs, reduce class sizes or offer easier access to AP classes. The budget called for reductions in teaching staff.

Now the superintendent threatens to cut programs, additional teachers and extracurricular activities, including sports, rather than postpone hiring new administrators. This logic is troubling.

I urge the Board of Education to reject this approach and set priorities that put the needs of the children first. Once the priorities have been established, all stakeholders must then demand that the cuts be restored as an investment in our children's future. The time has come to stop sitting idly by while politicians and administrators tell us what is best for our children.

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