A Code Blue Response
POTTSTOWN, PA – Code Blue, the grassroots organization dedicated to improving all aspects of life in the Borough of Pottstown, submitted to Save Pottstown!! the following response to the “advertorial” placed in Monday’s print and online editions of The Mercury.
We are only too happy to post it here for our readers. Enjoy!
“This letter is in response to Mr. Hylton and Citizens for Responsible Government and their recent opinion piece (published 4/12/2010). We agree that ‘we’ can’t afford to keep raising school taxes; we take offense to the suggestion that eliminating positions is a solution so apparent that many people have ‘missed it’. While times are tough, on all of us, hard choices will need to be made to endure and provide education that is high-quality, affordable and satisfies all mandates by the Federal and State Governments.
We believe that we, as a district, must look for a solution which is as complex as the problem we face. We need more money to maintain what we have, at present, as we fall short of the budget and have greater demands, as do all Pennsylvania schools, to satisfy our obligation to the PSER Fund. We can’t look to cut costs in one area, namely staffing and benefits, and have that be the medicine we need to get well. It is short-sighted to think that staffing levels from 10 years ago will make up the budget shortage and ‘miraculously’ lead us to sustainability while safe-guarding the educational achievement we currently have, much less surpass it.
IF the district budget is 54 Million dollars and 2/3 is consumed by salaries and benefits (as are many district budgets) the proposal to save 3 Million annually means that we would still be spending better than 60% on salaries and benefits, effectively a 6% reduction from the current situation; we believe that in order to save 3 Million annually we need to be more proactive and share the losses in funding on more than just one line item.
IF the goal is to save 3 Million (if that is the Board determination) then state that, CLEARLY, and work to find a multi-faceted solution. Start with small things before making proclamations based on 10 year old comparisons and seemingly ‘obvious’ choices.
Tighten the reigns, don’t choke the horse.”