My oldest will be a junior this year at DHS and my youngest begins sixth grade.
My oldest attended Lakeview Junior High school four years ago when that school was not a level-3 school. Now it is and my youngest goes there next year. Last year 53 positions cut; classes eliminated; elementary art and music taught by non- teachers; class sizes increased; and more and more in fees being charged.
We have asked school officials, school board members and selectmen for help. The only solution that makes sense is the override. No one else presented a plausible answer and families like mine with children were referred to by some as a special-interest group. The town cut more of the school budget this fiscal year, and school starts next week with a deficit and more cuts.
Education demands more than paper, pencils, and crayons, and the superintendent has included upgrades in technology districtwide in the plans for how the override will be spent. He has also included plans to restaff and add textbooks.
Although Dracut has spent funds for education in the past, it was not enough. Much had to go to increasing costs not directly associated with instruction of the children. Dracut's continued failure to fund adequately has led to the severe deficits in necessary items like technology infrastructure and instructional items.
I worry whether our children will get the help they need when they begin school next week with the large class sizes expected.
In 1999 Dracut spent the same per pupil as all of the surrounding towns. What Dracut spends now is at the bottom compared to these same towns, and we are eighth from the bottom in per-pupil spending for the entire state. Our children only have one time to go through school and we need to do what is right for our children.
Do the right thing and vote yes on Sept. 9.
SARAH SIMES WITTS