Official School Committee Statement in Support of Voting Yes on the Operational Override on June 3

The School Committee has formally voted to recommend a YES vote in support of the operational override on June 3rd.

Here is the problem:

Over 10 years the School Department's ability to provide resources for students has decreased as costs have gone up faster than town revenues:

Fees have been instituted for athletics, activities, busing for grades K-6 students living more than two miles from school and all grades 7-12 students, music lessons, and technology

Book purchases have been deferred, we have spent <$6 per student some years for books and many are now outdated and in poor condition

Computer & technology investments have been deferred and now 25% of desktops are over 12 years old and cannot be updated

Courses have been dropped including elementary school foreign language, auto shop, several in the arts, and many electives.  Advanced Placement courses now have waiting lists and high school students may not be able to take these courses- this may affect their college applications

Teaching positions have been eliminated resulting in class sizes that exceed guidelines and have led to crowding and impairing the ability of teachers to give individual attention

We rank 390th out of 403 school districts and charter districts in student/teacher ratio

We have been ranked in the bottom 2% in state spending on curriculum materials/textbooks, supplies and technology

Our per-pupil expenditure has been ranked in the bottom 11% of the state

Here is the solution:

A YES vote on June 3rd will cure the class size problem
It will put in place a plan to renew needed technology, curricula and books

It is sustainable and will help us to avoid another financial crisis in the future

It still makes Shrewsbury one of the most affordable communities:

By adding $1.15 to our $12.17 per thousand tax rate we will still have the lowest tax rate in this region.  We are at least 25% lower than Grafton, West Boylston, Boylston, Northborough, Westborough, Southborough and Worcester.