To the editor:
To the residents of Little Compton,
As the May 21 Little Compton Financial Town Meeting nears, we at Little Compton Community First (LCCF) support the Budget Committee’s recommendation of the passage of the school budget for FY ’14.
Despite the adverse conditions created by the school building project, our children at Wilbur & McMahon School continue to thrive in their temporary classrooms – test scores continue to be great and are improving and the majority of programs have been maintained. Though there have been bumps in the road, we applaud the efforts of both the school committee and administration for supporting this temporary transition. We are particularly grateful to the wonderful and dedicated teachers who have worked especially hard to maintain a positive and growing educational environment for our children. All of us in our town should be very proud!
Some in town have suggested that consolidating classrooms, firing teachers and underfunding programs would be financially beneficial to Little Compton, all while maintaining the level of our test scores. These are in fact actions that will statistically cost taxpayers more money in the long run when costs for special education and special programs become necessary to help our kids keep up with their peers. It has been proven that every $1 saved now by cutting funding to the proper education of our children will cost $7 in the long run. Conversely, every $1 spent now on early education returns $7 to our community in the future.
We have learned from the school administration that, contrary to the demographic study which has been circulated, enrollment for the 13-14 academic year has risen. This is good news for our town. Though we recognize the possible necessity of carefully evaluating enrollment numbers in the future, now is clearly not the time to consider the consolidation of classroom sizes, particularly in the very important, younger K-4 formative years, and particularly in the midst of the school building project. We should all be proud of and promote the fact that our children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews at Wilbur & McMahon are blessed with smaller class sizes and that they will soon have a first-rate learning environment when the school building project is completed. What better way to ensure that enrollment at the school continues to grow?
Our town has agreed to invest in the school in a very positive way. Our elected School Committee and the LC Budget Committee support this investment and underfunding that investment is simply not beneficial to our town. A healthy and well funded school is at the heart of our community and if properly funded and promoted will attract new families, new businesses and will maintain property values throughout the town.
LCCF’s mission statement includes, among other things, “constructive civic participation” and so we encourage all eligible voters to attend the Little Compton Financial Town Meeting on Tuesday, May 21, at 7 p.m. at the school gym. We further encourage the passage of the FY ’14 budget, particularly as it pertains to the proper funding of our school. This is good for taxpayers, good for our town and especially good for our children.
On behalf of Little Compton Community First,