To the editor:
I have been reading in this paper over the last couple of months about proposals being put forth by the town of Danvers to extract funds from the local “non-public” school systems. Things like payment in lieu of taxes and just recently, help paying for traffic lights. I have read mention of some of the intangible benefits that these institutions bring to the town but never a word of the financial benefit that comes from these institutions. It would be my guess that some of the readers of this paper either have not thought about or cared about that. However, I am pretty sure that those responsible for deciding how our taxpayer-funded school dollars are spent are keenly aware of that financial benefit.
I have read many times over the years about the cost of educating a student in different school systems around the area. It has been a while since I have seen any of those figures, but I seem to recall the numbers ranging from a low of about $5,000, up to as much as $10,000 to $12,000, and I am sure those numbers have not gone down. If you were to take the number of Danvers children that are educated in the Danvers non-public school systems, and multiply it by whatever that per student yearly cost is for the town of Danvers, I would bet that you could pay for those traffic lights in a year, with plenty left over, and this financial benefit goes on and on, year after year. I know that there are some expenses placed on the town by these institutions, but I am quite sure that these expenses are but a small fraction of the money saved by the town of Danvers by way of not having to educate the Danvers students enrolled in these institutions.