It is important for everyone to not lose sight of the Proposition 2 1/2 override and what it means for the Dracut public schools as well as our town. I am a resident of Dracut, no qualifier needed; we are all residents, one and the same.
It comes down to what kind of town and community we want to live in together. I am no politician, and I for one have always believed in community and our ability to rise above the rhetoric and see the facts.
It is a fact that our schools have had their budget decreased year over year for the last several years. It is not a question of spending within the budget anymore; it is a question of being able to provide standard services to our students and not having the funds to do so.
It is a fact that the Dracut public schools have made many cuts, including 21 teaching positions (as well as 18 other positions last year alone), 43 class courses at the high school level, foreign languages, music programs and reading specialists.
It is a fact that the Dracut public schools cannot support online learning, which is the norm for current classrooms. This is why a technology upgrade, which will include a fiber-optic system that the rest of the town can utilize in the future, is essential.
It is also a fact that in 2012 Dracut spent less per pupil than 319 schools out of 327 public schools in Massachusetts.
I for one don’t think this is acceptable for the kids or our town. I’m a hardworking Dracut resident just like you who expects what everyone else expects or may have already received from their community — a competitive education.
Everyone in town benefits from a strong school system, from higher property values to well-prepared individuals who will live and work in our community in the future. And this is why I say: Vote yes for Dracut on Sept. 9.