March 28, 2017 11:38AM EDT
OPINION / LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Tax ‘N’ Spend, Just Say “Whoa” ???
Welcome to the 2017 edition of Sledgehammer Slugfest, a.k.a., the New England
Town Meeting. The seasonal march toward madness fueled by its “pure democracy”
revolutionary past. The season when budgets (town, city, school) are “crafted”, dissed, reimagined, dumped and more often than not passed outta sheer frustration, fatigue. . .
What’s a body to do?
Every body–whether singular (taxpayer) or plural (governing board)–should
consider the following when devising (later revising), let’s say, the new SCHOOL
*Is the number of school-age children increasing, decreasing, leveling off? What
do market studies forecast? Should any schools merge, close? Is typical class
size (elementary, middle) teeny?
* How “techy” does an elementary–formerly called “grammar”–school have to be?
Realize that the first three/four years are spent learning to read. In later years youngsters read to learn. (Google Waldorf Schools for more on this subject)
*How “fancified” does any school have to be? How many gotta-get-gizmos actually
get in the way of learning to read, write, think critically, express oneself verbally?
*Know that third world countries whose kids are giving ours a good shellackin’
do not deem student lounges, reflecting pools, safe spaces, artificial turf fields,
battery-recharging nooks, stand-up desks, organic food choices, artificial light
sensory stimulation, “empowerment” programs, obesity monitoring, athletic/band
uniforms, fitness centers, door-to-door chauffeuring essential.
*America is no longer in the guns ‘n’ butter sixties when we seemingly could “have
it all”. Or so we thought, were told.
*Increasing numbers of children need “Special Ed”. Why? This specious slathering
of suspect services is devouring super-sized portions of most school budgets.
In some districts, half.
*Mainstreaming the physically/mentally challenged is a worthy goal. However–
and this may strike some as uncharitable–what specifically has been proven to be
worthwhile? Efficacious? Cost/Benefit analysis is appropriate here.
*Curb the use of psychologists, therapists, consultants, counsellors, specialists,
monitors, mentors, tutors, gurus, what have you.
*Face down frivolous fads that feed off finite resources.
*”Employ” retirees, a natural resource most communities have in abundance. They’re
talented, experienced, available!
Frances Pulle teaches Political Science at the college level.