One would think that those who have consistently attended Monmouth’s school budget meetings would, by now, have a better handle on the facts. But then, why let facts get in the way of a good emotional argument?

The fact is that the request for funding for the schools has decreased each time we have gone through this process, and we are voting on a number that is less than those before.

The fact is that the school’s current request is $34,687 above last year’s local appropriations.

The fact is that the town budget, which has already been approved by the voters is up $219,061.

The fact is that these numbers combined, work out to about a $45 annual increase for the average homeowner in town; or $3.75 a month.

The fact is that the school’s share of this increase is less than one dollar per month.

The fact is that the only way the town can avoid a tax increase would be to reduce the school budget to the point that it offsets the increases on the town expenses side. That cannot be done without eliminating staff, academic and/or athletic programs.

The school board takes its duty very seriously to provide for a quality education for the children in this community, at a responsible level of funding.

The budget is responsible, is supported by the school board, and is supported by the Board of Selectmen.

I ask voters to support it, too.

Douglas Beck, North Monmouth

Member, Monmouth School Board

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