A well-organized effort to push through a flat-funded school budget succeeded Tuesday, Sept. 5, in Farmington. A vocal majority at a well-attended meeting voted to operate the school district at the same budget level as last year. The total voted is $980,173 less than that recommended by the Board of Directors, and largely represents fixed costs for special education, staff and services, over which the school has no control.
In order to balance the budget with that reduction, voters can expect to see major cuts in staff and programs, possibly including music and sports. That will greatly impact the school experience for the children and their future, and also the community, which takes pride in its sport teams, Franklin County Fiddlers, Jazz Band and chorus.
Voters throughout the district have an opportunity to say “no” to that thinking on the referendum to validate the budget on Tuesday, Sept. 12. A “no” vote on the referendum will return the budget to the School Board to work out a compromise that can be approved by all voters at a subsequent meeting. A “no” vote on the referendum says that funding the schools at the level recommended by the School Board is a priority for this community. A thriving school makes a thriving, attractive community.
Karyl Condit, Farmington