Our children have one chance at their education and by failing to adequately fund our schools we are failing our children and our town.
Asking people to pay additional taxes is not the popular thing to do, but given the current situation that our schools are in, I believe that it is the right thing to do.
For those who say that a Proposition 2 1/2 override shouldn't be used for operating expenses, the state Department of Revenue's website states that this is exactly what an override should be used for. Let's face it, when you are able to fund a $9.5 million building out of the operating budget, the money has to come from somewhere. In our case, it was taken from each of our municipality's operating budgets.
As voters, you've had to endure many misrepresentations of the facts from those opposed to this override. As the chairperson of Stand Up For Dracut, I feel it is my duty to share some facts about the misguided statements that are being used by the opposition.
The opposition is suggesting that people's taxes will increase by $1,000. This figure couldn't be further from the truth. The "all in" cost on an average property in Dracut will be less than $500 a year. For this particular override, it will be approximately $273 a year. It's important to note that 70 percent of us have homes valued at or below the average, so 70 percent of us will pay even less than $273 a year. I'm not suggesting that this isn't a lot of money for many, but rather stating the facts.
Let me clarify that the members of SUFD are not thieves and didn't steal any signs.
We are not ignorant and would not waste time, money and energy mailing letters to people who are clearly aligned with the opposition.
We are not liars and have not misrepresented the facts of the situation that our fellow citizens are being asked to vote on.
We have given you facts about the cuts that have been made to programs, supplies and staffing over recent years; we have showed how the override money will be spent; we have shown the implications of an additional tax on homeowners, and we have shown you studies to support the argument that a strong school system equates to increased property values.
Our selectmen and the leaders of the opposition are holding onto the past. As parents witnessing the effects of the lack of funding in our schools, we are advocating for our children and the future of Dracut. We firmly believe that it is time for the voters of Dracut to join us in doing what is right for the future generations of our town.
These children take pride in their community and we need to let them know that education matters.