Support Shrewsbury override – Powers
To the Editor:
I am writing to urge all parents in Shrewsbury to vote YES on June 3rd. It can be deceiving to drive through town and see ‘Vote Yes’ signs on every block. It seems as if the override is destined to pass, and our schools will finally be able to return their former glory. But signs do not translate into votes, and the fact remains that since 1992 there have been eight attempts at an override in Shrewsbury, and all have failed. There is a core group in Shrewsbury that will always vote ‘no’ to any proposal to invest money into our town, and also a parallel trend of parents of school- age children failing to vote. Whether they fail to vote because of apathy, or just because they are too busy, it does not matter. The end result is the same: our schools remain underfunded.
Of Massachusetts school districts, Shrewsbury ranks 390th of 403 in term of our student to teacher ratios, in the bottom 11% in terms of our per pupil expenditures, and in the bottom 2% in terms of our spending on textbooks and technology. These figures are especially abysmal when one considers that Shrewsbury is in the top 20% in terms of the personal income of its residents. There is a large gap between what we should be contributing towards our schools, and what we actually contribute. The state has noticed that Shrewsbury is in the bottom 4% of communities in terms of this large gap, and this failure on our part is the reason that state aid to our schools has stagnated. I can’t say that I blame state officials.
As a parent of school-age children, I find these facts discouraging, but the groundswell of support to properly fund the Shrewsbury Public Schools gives me a glimmer of hope. I urge all parents to vote YES on June 3rd. We cannot assume that that we will be victorious, but if every single parent will head to the polls, we might be able to see our schools receive the funding that they deserve.
Lisa R. Powers
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