The Readers Write

Vote no on school bond

Yes, we Shelburne voters have a history of supporting quality education. And yes, we understand the need for bonding $2 million for important school deferred maintenance needs.

But to tack on another $9 million for a major change to the school structure and lump the two together as one bond vote doesn’t seem appropriate or logical.

I believe we should not vote for the $11 million school bond issue as proposed.

George Schiavone, Shelburne

Voters have choice on bond

In the upcoming vote on the facilities bond, we actually do have a choice. Our choice is between adding facilities, many of which we don’t need, and keeping teachers, paras, and support staff, most of whom we do.

If we commit to a 20-year bond, it will add about $700,000 in debt service to our annual spending. That amount funds 10 or more teaching positions, all of whom we would have to eliminate just to get back to our per pupil spending rate today.

In my five years of service on the Shelburne Community School (SCS) Board the only really big issue raised by parents is class size. And it has never been because the number was too low.

When our three children attended SCS more than eight years ago, the K-8 student population fluctuated in the 900s. Today, including pre-K, it stands at about 760. As the student population declined, the school had to be “right sized” and, painfully, positions for teachers, paraprofessionals, and support staff were eliminated. The building stayed the same.

So, do we want to spend money we don’t have on facilities we don’t really need? Or would we rather invest funds, while we have them, in teachers, paras, and support staff, all of whom are dedicated to our children: welcoming, looking after, educating, inspiring and safeguarding them? There has never been a building on earth that can do all those things for children, nor would we want one.

We do have a choice. Let’s make it the right one for our children. I will vote no on the bond.

Robert Finn, Shelburne

No to bond vote

I endorse the comments in the letter from Jan Gannon in the Shelburne News, Feb. 5, regarding the bond for the Shelburne Community School. I support replacement of the roof, the installation of new windows and the updating of the HVAC system for $2,000,000. I cannot support the additional items in the amount of $9,000,000. Waiting in the wings is the renovation and expansion of the Pierson Library which will require additional funds above private donations. In addition, a close look the historic Town Hall again reveals the result of delayed or deferred maintenance. This building is in dire need of repair and renovation. Let us be reasonable and vote for only those three items noted above.

Carroll A. “Bud” Ockert, Shelburne