We are writing in support of the local ground swell surrounding the Acton/Boxboro proposal to set a minimum funding contribution of $2000 for every student enrolled in every public school district across the commonwealth.
As you know, a re-allocation of state aid for public schools is being considered that would be based upon the per capita income of Harvard residents. This would have a devastating effect on our schools and our town budget. Harvard is still reeling from the effects of the FY2002 budget shortfall where Harvard’s state aid was cut almost in half with no credible way to make up for that loss without dramatic annual tax increases and budget overrides.
The long and short of it is this — we are not assured today that our children will have the same public education that we received. This tragedy can be prevented with your help.
Yes, it is true that Harvard’s schools currently perform at the highest levels, but only because of the increased commitment of parents’ time and money and the efforts of many extraordinary teachers. This level of sacrifice cannot be sustained indefinitely and will begin to divide the community into two groups: Those who can afford to pay for supplemental curriculum materials, supplies, electives, tutoring, sports, music and buses and those who cannot.
We are at the point where the school system relies on bake sales, PTA fund-raisers and private contributions to purchase textbooks and other core curriculum materials that used to be part of the annual operating budget. This is no way to run a public school system.
Please help us push these issues into the legislative agenda. You have our unending support.
TIM CLARK and RUTH SILMAN