Opinion: Message clear on budget defeats

What is the mystery with the Bristol school budgets?
Both Bristol school budgets were voted down twice. The second time had the same budget amounts as the first time. The school boards are having trouble understanding why the second time failed. Hopefully for the next budget re-vote, the proposed budgets will be significantly lower.
Is it such a mystery that people want to reduce school spending? After all, our governor, our secretary of education and our local state representatives all say that that our school spending is excessive and that it is our own fault.
The cost per student directly drives our property taxes higher each year. This year, the Mount Abraham Union High School budget increased the cost per student by $1,000. This will have the direct effect of increasing our property taxes. As the number of students decreases, so should the budget amount decrease. This new budget might be a good opportunity to set the cost per student back to the value for last year (or lower).
If the third budget doesn’t pass, then the schools will be forced to operate with a budget that is set at 87 percent of the last year’s budget. A 13 percent reduction might be in the right ballpark for controlling our spending and having a more reasonable cost per student. (It may eliminate the $1.000 increase in the cost per student for the Mt. Abe budget.)
Let’s hope that the school boards listen to the voters and present significantly lower budgets for the next re-vote.
Jim Feldhousen

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