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As chair of the Clinton Board of Education, I am compelled to refute the claim, made [by Michael Hughes] at the public hearing on April 10 and reported in the Harbor News [April 18 article “Finance Trims Clinton Budget Proposals, Sends to Referendum”], that the budget drafted and proposed by the board is “lining (our) pockets.”
First, by state statute, the board is charged to present a budget that properly funds the school district, a requirement met by this budget. Second, the increase in the operating budget is less than either the percentages mandated by contractual obligations or the rate of inflation. Third, the closing of Pierson will realize a savings, but we must continue to educate our 4th- and 5th-grade students, thereby continuing some of the cost of doing so.
Lastly, the board has behaved ethically, diligently, and prudently throughout the budgetary process; to suggest that there are any pockets to be lined is disrespectful of the hard work and dedication of its members.
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