To the Editor:
To all parents who are not in favor of the one bell proposal, please vote “No” for the Chatham school budget.
The one-bell proposal is the difference of a total of less than a 1% increase to the current budget proposal. The decision for a one-bell transportation system is a major decision for the community and the school district as a whole, and the board has not fully addressed many issues in order to make a fully informed decision prior to voting. The public has asked that it be a separate issue; a separate vote, so that the budget can be passed with or without the one-bell proposal. Since the board has decided to include this proposal in the budget, those who are opposed to the one bell proposal have no recourse except to vote “No” to the budget.
There have been countless hours spent by parents working on this issue; going to meetings to no avail, bringing questions, concerns and issues to the board’s attention. Unfortunately the board has decided not to listen; the board has not answered many questions regarding possible changes to policy; the board has not addressed the issue of exactly how these routes will work other than “essentially the same as they are now, following the middle/high school routes” without giving an example of how they could work since many of those routes are already full; they have not addressed what changes will be made with regard to the traffic flow with all of the schools beginning and ending at the same time; how the extra half hour the MED kids will have added to their day will be used; as well as many other questions; the board instead incorporated the one bell transportation proposal into the budget. Please vote NO for the budget and make the board fully address all of the questions and concerns of the parents and taxpayers on all levels before they ask us to vote for it again. They have left all of the really important issues to “we’ll deal with that after it is voted in”; you may not like the answers that you may get after it is voted in and then it will be too late.
Please also look past the board’s threats that if this budget does not pass that the district will lose teachers and programs. This does not have to be true. The board has the option of modifying the current budget and presenting the budget for vote again. If the current budget does not pass with the one-bell transportation proposal on it, the board can remove the proposal from the budget and present it for vote again; it would likely pass without the one bell proposal with only a less than one percent increase – not the 3% contingency budget, or the 22% increase the board would like you to believe.
Also did you know that the district has a $1-million emergency fund? This will be their “bailout” if this proposal becomes reality and then fails because they have not answered all of the important questions to be fully prepared to implement this system should it pass.
Please put the safety and well being of our children above the little in savings this proposal will bring about until all of the questions and concerns of the parents/taxpayers are answered.