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Greenwich Schools Should Not be Completely Upended For 31 Cents A Day

Letter to the editor from Janet McMahon, Greenwich Public School Parent, Voter, RTM Member and Taxpayer, May 3, 2020, Greenwich Free Press.

Since the Republican Town leadership is telling parents to “stay calm” and “listen to facts,” I’d like to present some facts which haven’t yet been addressed.

Fact 1:  This was a $3M cut on top of an Operating budget which already had a $1.2-$1.5M shortfall from this fiscal year.  Therefore, the net cut is more in the range of $4.2-$4.5M.

Fact 2:  Over 9000 students and 1000 teachers will be severely impacted by this cut.  FYI, that’s about 1/6 of the total population of Greenwich.

Fact 3:  Realizing the magnitude of this cut, over 1000 Greenwich residents emailed the BET in the 4 days between the Budget Workshop on April 23 until Decision Day at 9:00am on April 27.  Hundreds of Greenwich residents also participated in the drive-by protest at Town Hall on Sunday to send a message to the BET that this cut was not insignificant. Clearly, our collective voices were not heard or considered.

Fact 4:  There is a direct correlation between property values and the quality of a town’s public schools. This cut will make it impossible for Greenwich Public Schools to continue to deliver the high level of education expected of a town of our resources.  Likewise, renters in Greenwich may no longer contemplate a purchase here due to our lack of commitment to public education.

Fact 5:  At the end of the day, the material difference between the BET Republican’s $3M cut versus the BET Democrats’ $700k cut amounts to annual property tax savings of just $116 based on a median home market value of $2M (actual savings may be slightly higher or lower depending on the market value of your home).  That’s right: $116 a year or 31 cents a day.  Greenwich Public Schools should not be completely upended for a mere 31 cents a day.

Fact 6:  BET Republicans, you have another opportunity to reverse course.  Please consider sitting down with Dr. Jones and the Board of Education to discuss alternatives to this drastic cut.  There is currently a petition circulating with almost 2000 signatures on it since its inception a little over 24 hours ago.  Please do right by 1/6 of Greenwich.  We really are all in this together.

Sincerely, Janet McMahon Greenwich Public School Parent, Voter, RTM Member and Taxpayer Cos Cob, CT

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