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July 9, 2020
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Continued Fiscal Restraint

Published April 29, 2020

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I’m pleased that the Board of Education (BOE) has continued its fiscal restraint during this health and economic crisis. Not only was last year’s budget an overall cut in expenditures, but it has sought to maintain the high quality of education that we come to expect. Kudos to our teachers and school district in their successful shift to distance learning.

Although my children are grown and are young adults now, they were greatly benefited by the excellence of the Madison school system, their specialized curricula, and their outstanding teachers. The strong K-12 educational foundation allows students to transition to successful college experiences and then to fulfilling careers.

I fully support the 2020-’21 town and BOE budgets. As a high school teacher in an at-risk school district for more than 40 years, I was keenly aware of the differences in major determinates for student success, such as class size, course offerings, facilities, and community and parental support and participation.

The BOE has recommended a budget that represents only a 1.09 percent increased spending over last year, while making significant cuts to the administration’s requested budget, eliminating four proposed new positions along with new curricula for a total of $294,710 in cuts to the requested budget. The total increase comes in below the rate of inflation.

The Board of Finance has already met and reduced the town budget to reflect current economic uncertainty. It includes no new positions while maintaining essential services for our residents. It meets the town’s financial and contractual obligations, as well as supporting public health and safety in this difficult time of pandemic. The result is a proposed minimal mill rate increase of 1.1 percent, which is well below historic averages.

I encourage your readers to support our town and education budgets for our future.

Andrea Aron