SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

April 18, 2014

Letter: Ipswich override deserves support

To the editor:

I am writing in support of the proposed Proposition 21/2 educational override for Ipswich. Opposition to the override includes citizens calling for a school audit. I want to acknowledge this and repeat what Ipswich Selectman Bill Craft said at the selectmen’s meeting on March 17: “I’ve spent a good deal of time drilling into all of the rhetoric of the School Committee, have talked to the superintendent, and I have developed a level of trust in what they are trying to do.”

I trust what the Ipswich schools are trying to do, too. In fact, Ipswich schools have recently undergone three separate audits for special education, food service and facilities. A new audit might show where modest sums can be saved, but there is no guarantee that the amount of money potentially saved by any audit recommendation will address the annual problems of funding Massachusetts schools. An audit won’t address the structural deficit of the school budget. Expenses such as inflation, healthcare costs, workmen’s compensation rates and retirement obligations are beyond the control of the School Committee, and these costs grow faster than 2.5 percent a year. The deficit exists because every year, there are decreases in state aid and federal grants. School expenses, including Ipswich’s, consistently outpace revenues.

Mr. Craft also said at the same March 17 meeting. “I will vigorously support the override, and I call on my fellow citizens to do the same.”

Please join me and vote “yes” at Ipswich Town Election on May 20 in favor of the override. And please come to Ipswich Town Meeting on May 13 to support the article on the warrant for the override and to oppose the audit petition.

Angela Armendariz

Ipswich

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