The last-minute decision to wipe out $1.8 million in school spending without public debate is atrocious, from any perspective.
First off, major policy shifts such as slicing into education should be the result of careful, public deliberations, not the result of panic at a looming tax hike. The eight town council members who went along with this deserve our scorn for their refusal to let us all in on the secret before they took an ax to the school spending plan that had already been carved down carefully by the Board of Education.
But more important is that we have now, as a community, chosen to put less money into our schools than we know they need.
Superintendent David Sklarz told reporters that the reduction could mean larger classes, fewer teachers and other hits to classroom education.
If there’s $1.8 million worth of fat in the school budget, then by all means cut it. And fire the officials who gave us this spending plan to begin with.
I strongly doubt there’s much to be saved without targeting all kinds of necessary programs and services for our students.
Even worse, this fly-by-night decision sends an awful message to everybody: that we don’t care enough about education to make sure it’s fully funded.
Once we start down that road, we’re doomed.
I find it detestable that town council members did this without prior notice and without giving us any better reason that it made this year’s tax hike a little lower.
Our schools are the pride of this town. Our council, I’m afraid, is nothing to brag about.