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Voting against school budget hurts students and education

In her letter to the editor, Rebecca Gold writes: “Allocating taxes fairly is an adult problem and children should not be punished for a problem that adults haven't been able to fix.”

To the Editor:

Last year, out of more than 4,300 registered voters in Great Barrington, only 324 attended the Annual Town Meeting. This is a letter to all the people who didn’t come.

Please come to the meeting this Monday, May 9th, 6 p.m. at Monument Mountain High School. I promise you will walk away having been informed and entertained. You might even feel proud of yourself for fulfilling an important civic duty and participating in this democratic process.

Most importantly, I urge you to come so you can vote yes for the school budget. Some people are expressing outrage over the way taxes are allocated among the three district towns and demanding a change in the agreement. The self-dubbed Green Tea Party is urging people to vote against the school budget as a way to send the message that something needs to change.

But that message was already made loud and clear, which is why the Regional Agreement Amendment Committee was formed—a group that is actively working to change the terms of the agreement. Do any of these outspoken Green Tea Party members serve on the committee? No. Then again, they don’t all live in Great Barrington—or even in Stockbridge or W. Stockbridge, for that matter.

While GE threatens to dump toxins in our river and Verizon screws over many of our neighbors, the Green Tea Party has chosen to vilify our schools and the people who run them. Of course, they maintain that they support our schools. But I’m sure you agree that voting against the school budget is not a way to show support of our schools any more so than defunding women’s health programs is a way to show support for women.

The bottom line is this: Allocating taxes fairly is an adult problem and children should not be punished for a problem that adults haven’t been able to fix. If you agree with this, I hope you will come on Monday and vote yes for the school budget.

Rebecca Gold

Great Barrington

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