Mascenic: $1.6M cut from budget at deliberative
Free Staters took over the Mascenic deliberative session and cut their $19M budget by about $1.9M. Are other towns and contracts next?
As reported by the Monadnock Ledger-Transcript, voters approved a $1,630,000 cut of the proposed Mascenic School District budget, which school officials say would be devastating to the operation of the district if it passes at the polls in March.
During Saturday’s deliberative session, New Ipswich resident Bentti Hoiska, seconded by current Select Board member Woody Meiszner, moved to lower the proposed budget from $19,295,348 to $17,665,000.
Hoiska and Meiszner both spoke of the need to control taxes, particularly in New Ipswich, as a justification for the proposed cut. Meiszner pointed to the rising delinquency in tax payments as a result of inability to pay, saying, “Without being overly dramatic, is it worth it to have a school system with all the whistles and bells at the expense of having people put out of their homes?”
Corrine Joly, a New Ipswich resident and Mascenic teacher, spoke against the amendment, saying, “I can’t envision the devastation,” if the proposed amendment were passed and adopted at the polls. “That kind of cut is going to be devastating.”
Hoiska’s amendment passed in a 164-84 vote.
As educators, we owe it to our students to stay engaged in the deliberative and electoral process.
Education is our calling. And while students may not understand that passing the wrong budget or electing the wrong candidate could mean fewer programs, larger classrooms, and less access to technology, we do. We have a responsibility to our students to keep protecting their interests.
Town Meetings and elections have consequences for educators, students, parents, and public schools. Budgets, contracts, school boards and elected officials, at all levels, make decisions that directly affect school funding, class size, and the length of the school day.
The voices of educators matter in every community and every election. With more than 16,000 members across New Hampshire, NEA New Hampshire is the state’s largest union. Educators are trusted members of their communities with the power to shape the conversation. We live in every legislative district and ward in New Hampshire. Our efforts and influence can make education play a critical role in many campaigns this year. It’s our job to ensure our collective voice continues to drive the conversation.
We need to stay very involved. We are in a unique position to define what is required to provide the schools and educational experience our students deserve.
Voting is the easy part. It is imperative to educate outside the classroom too. Engage your family, friends, and colleagues in conversations about the qualities you want to see in our schools, our budgets and our elected leaders.
We can’t wait. As we have already seen, those opposed to public education are already taking action. Are you ready to make a difference for education? Contact your local president or UniServ Director to find out how you can help today.