Many numbers were shared at the last couple Board meetings, one in particular was 146. We were informed that our district has registered 146 new students (outside of those entering kindergarten*) this school year and that school staff was working hard to place these children in buildings already at capacity. I have heard this number repeated throughout town by people as the reason we need to support the referendum. It seems this number does not paint a complete picture.

At the time of my OPRA request the district actually registered 163 new students, but the district also unregistered 132 students during the same period. It appears we have a net gain of 31 new students, just four or five at each building. Why not just say 31 new students? Maybe saying 31 does not create the same urgency as 146? Why are we led to believe the situation is so dire that there is only one choice and that is to pass a huge referendum?

We face a difficult situation and choices need to be made for the benefit of the students of today, students of the future and for the whole community. I believe in a good public education and providing excellent 21st century learning opportunities.  The ideal solution may be to expand many of our buildings but ideal is not always attainable.  If passed, this referendum˕ will cripple many taxpayers.

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We must be given alternative options. I am certain that if we put our heads together as a community we can come up with less costly, creative solutions. We are now paying millions per year in debt service; let’s pay that off before adding more.

As your Board of Education trustee, you can count on me to always be available to listen to and advocate for the community, to be an advocate for our students, to always dig a little deeper and I will be accountable for making those tough choices with your input. I would appreciate your support on November 7, 2017 at the voting booth.

*Through the same request; preliminary numbers show we have 306 students entering Kindergarten this year and we graduated 317 students in 2017. You can do that math.

˕Previously announced amount of $70+ million.

I can be reached by email at karenfornutleyboard@gmail.com or on Facebook @Karennutleyboard