Letters to the Editor

Can Our School District Afford It?

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To the editor:

I write to express my deep concern regarding the ongoing discussions surrounding the fate of Lakeview School and the broader implications for our district’s educational landscape.

Recent events, such as the temporary closure of Windham Elementary due to staffing struggles and the financial challenges facing local schools can serve as stark reminders of the precarious situation facing many small schools in Vermont.
While it is understandable that communities rally to protect their local schools, we must approach these discussions with a broader perspective that considers the long-term viability and sustainability of our entire educational system. Short-sighted decisions driven by narrow interests could ultimately lead to unplanned closures or mergers, resulting in significant disruption for students, families, and communities.
The efforts to save Lakeview School are commendable, but they must not come at the expense of rational discourse or the well-being of our entire district. It is concerning to see attempts to manipulate the composition of the school board and silence dissenting voices in pursuit of a singular agenda. Such tactics only serve to deepen divisions within our community and hinder meaningful dialogue about the future of our schools.
Can our little district afford a full-time Pre-K teacher for just two students? Can our district afford two full-time principals and an associate principal? I am not saying that a closure or merger would “save money,” but it would result in a more responsible and equitable distribution of resources in our community. Frankly, a $52,000 per-pupil expenditure at Lakeview, as opposed to an under $20,000 per-pupil expenditure across the rest of the district, is absurd, especially when there are needs (not wants) not being met as it is.
It is crucial that we prioritize inclusivity and collaboration in these discussions, recognizing that the interests of our community extend beyond the boundaries of any single school. We must engage in open dialogue that considers the perspectives of all stakeholders and seeks solutions that benefit the entire district.
Let us not allow our commitment to individual schools to blind us to the broader needs of our community. Instead, let us work together to find creative solutions that ensure the continued success and vibrancy of our educational system. Only through collective effort and collaboration can we build a brighter future for all students in our district.
Mandy Spaulding

Hardwick 

401 243 7801

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