Editor of the Reformer,
On June 30 (or earlier if people vote by mail) voters in the four towns — Putney, Brattleboro, Dummerston and Guilford — which make up the local school district will vote on the school budget. There are a number of reasons why a yes vote on this budget is crucial. When the budget was first created, it was done with the input of parents, school board members, the teachers' union and other vested parties. The budget as written calls for very small increases in the property tax rate, essentially $13 per $100,000 in assessed value, about $1 per month. In return, the citizens of these towns will continue to receive the high level of education and services provided by the district's support staff, educators and administrators. In this period of economic and social crises, the school system, more than ever, needs community support. Students will return to their education in the fall in the midst of an ongoing global pandemic, an economic depression and widespread racial division and inequities. At a time when students will need more support than ever, a no vote on the budget will have the immediate impact of eliminating key staff members including teachers and support personnel. Please take the time to vote yes on this budget.
Brattleboro, June 23