To the editor:
While I am not an educator, with training in curriculum development or education policy, I am a parent who takes an involved interest in her children’s education, as do most Barrington parents. Most of the members of the school committee, however, have impressive professional backgrounds in education, as does the school superintendent and the director of curriculum and instruction. These people all support the need for a full-day kindergarten program in order to provide for our kindergartener’s educational needs, both academic and social-emotional, under the Common Core State Standards.
When asked if he could implement full-day kindergarten without disrupting current programs and initiatives, if the motion to add funds to the school budget failed, the superintendent responded that he could not.
It is understandable that the implementation of full-day kindergarten, which brings 5 new kindergarten classrooms into the school system, in addition to the 6 currently in existence, each of which would have its own teacher’s aide, would add costs to the school budget.
I am relieved that the process of allowing a citizen to make a motion to add funds to the budget at the Financial Town Meeting is in place. Without it, we would have no recourse, at this point in time, to attempt to provide the funds necessary to meet the needs of our kindergarteners. It was observably contemplated, upon the ratification of the Town Charter that includes such a provision, that there would be occasions when citizens felt that the budget that was recommended by the Committee on Appropriations was deficient, and that an opportunity for redress ought to be made available to the citizens.
This is one of those occasions.
Please support our kindergarteners by coming to the Financial Town Meeting this Wednesday at 7:00 in the high school auditorium and voting to add 633,000 to the school budget. While this will increase our taxes, it will increase the taxes of the majority of us by less than $80 per year. I assert that our kindergarteners are worth the cost.