Once again this year, I will be voting against passage of the proposed budget for Montpelier schools. I have voted against the budget for many years now, not because I believe we have a bad school system, or that it has treated me, or my family, badly. I have voted against the budget because Montpelier, and its school board have been grossly wasting our tax dollars year after year by continuing to maintain three antiquated schools. The costs of this practice are significant, both in dollars and lost educational opportunities for our children.
Many years ago, as my son was preparing to enter kindergarten, I participated on a facilities committee for the school board. At that time, it was clear the number of students in our system was going to drop significantly. It was also clear Main Street Middle School was going to continue to be a maintenance nightmare and Union Elementary needed work in order to accommodate students with disabilities.
Over the more than 30 years since I was on that committee, I have watched as the school board continues to support the expenditure of (what now must be) millions of dollars to maintain our antiquated facilities. I have also watched the Montpelier community support this wasteful spending, year after year.
It’s time for Montpelier to invest in a modern, single facility that will support high quality education instead of impede it. Our students, teachers and community deserve nothing less.