And what about the cost that these proposed additional revenues put on the Danvers families that choose to put their children through the non-public school systems? At a time when these institutions are getting less and less from their parent organizations, those additional revenues just get passed along in the form of higher tuition. These are families that are paying for two school systems, one voluntarily, and one by way of their real estate taxes. Where is the fairness in that? I know that there are readers out there who will say, “Well, that’s your choice,” and that would be correct. Keep in mind that choice may have nothing to do with religion. I know there are readers out there who will say “Those non-public school families have lots of money, so they can afford it.” But the truth is, a lot of these families make sacrifices, such as second jobs and second mortgages, to pay for these non-public educations, and they wouldn’t do it if they didn’t see value in it.
The big-ticket items in the town of Danvers budget are fire, police and education. I don’t think the non-public schools cost the Fire Department any more than their public counterpart. In light of recent events, we know that police costs are less than their public counterparts. And education, the Danvers School Committee and the taxpayers of the town of Danvers should thank their lucky stars for these institutions because if they all closed their doors tomorrow, the cost of educating all the Danvers students currently enrolled in these institutions would throw the Danvers school system budget into financial chaos.
Let these institutions be. Find your revenue elsewhere.