When it comes to schools, bigger is not better
Editor of the Reformer:
I think it’s obvious to the citizens of Windham, Jamaica, Townshend, Newfane and Brookline that the Regional Educational District is simply a proposal to dissolve our local school boards and pave the way for a regional school. When the Brookline and Newfane school boards merged everyone was told, "This is not about school consolidation, it’s about school board consolidation," and, of course, among the first acts of the consolidated school board was the closing of the Brookline school.
The Vermont Constitution states that "a competent number of schools ought to be maintained in each town unless the general assembly permits other provisions for the convenient instruction of youth."
I don’t think the framers had "zero" in mind as a competent number, and I don’t think that a regional school 20 miles away is convenient to kindergarten children.
All over the country we see large schools and districts being broken up into smaller schools as educators give up on the "bigger is better" view of education. Why would we in Vermont, where we have one of the best school systems in the country, want to go down the road that has already been shown as prone to failure?
The most disheartening part of this proposal is that the administrators we are paying hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to operate and run our schools seem to be actively campaigning to close them. The towns of Winhall, Stratton and Brookline no longer have town public schools, encouraged by the supervisory union we paid to help operate them.
If the state is serious about cutting costs, I suggest closing the supervisory unions where administrators are paid in the neighborhood of $100,000 a year instead of eliminating local school boards where dedicated citizens are compensated $500 a year.
The towns involved in this proposal have maintained their own schools for the past 200 years with excellent results. Don’t vote away local control of local schools. Don’t vote to dissolve your town school board. Please vote against this proposal on Oct. 8.
Windham, Sept. 11
A call to war
Editor of the Reformer:
Join the event: Give your vote on going to war yes the authorization of a U.S. strike against Syria
Who’s in Favor of going to war? AIPAC, the seventh largest lobbyist in the U.S. to mount major lobbying blitz for Obama’s Syria strike plan. Many of the Jewish syndicates are calling for war. The well respected Senator Abbott, a staunch AIPACer, thinks it’s a good idea.
During the Iran-Iraq war, which started in 1980 and ended in 1988, the international community remained silent as Iraq used chemical weapons. Why such a big stink today?
I did not see Israel complaining about Sarin when they used phosphorus in Gaza. Israel has a much bigger problem to deal with: Thousands of women and children held without passport in Israeli brothels. Type into your computer search bar "Pedophilia Paradise"’ and see where it takes you.
Who’s Not in favor of going to War? Pope Francis had voiced his staunch opposition to a U.S.-led strike on Syria along with most the world. Not good.
Now it is you time time for your two cents. I urge all in Vermont and New Hampshire to state your position to your congressman or woman. You do not have to be registered and you don’t have to dress up well and go to town; call right over the phone, it is free, and you can call anytime. Remember, Uncle Sam is counting on you to speak up. And for you WiFi fans in Vermont, send an e-mail to Patrick Leahy, Bernie Sanders, and Peter Welch; if you live in New Hampshire, e-mail Kelly Abbott, Jeanne ,Shaheen, Carol-Shay Porter and Anne Mc Lane Kuster.
"Join the event" This is a limited time offer: until the Senate votes on the authorization of a U.S. strike against Syria bill.
Bellows Falls, Sept. 12