To the editor:
As a former mayor of Salem, I can see the candor of both factions on the Saltonstall School budget dilemma. I can see why the parents of the school children who attend the Saltonstall School want the best education possible for their children since, after all, they only have 12 years to accomplish this very important part of their children’s lives. We all know that children’s future successes rest upon a solid educational foundation.
I also can sympathize with the school committee on the reason why they don’t or, better still, why they can’t fully fund the Saltonstall school budget. A difference of $150,000 is separating the two factions. I am sure that the school committee would love to come up with the money but since the city doesn’t have it, the alternative is an override, which would have to be thrust on a third party, the taxpayer.
The taxpayers are already financially at their breaking point, and I doubt that the taxpayer would go for that since they can’t afford it and don’t consider a longer school day will make any difference. I don’t necessarily agree with that thought, but the city doesn’t have a printing press. You can’t spend what you don’t have.
I have two suggestions: wait until the city can find the money to fund the school budget, or, since there are many families attending the Saltonstall School, just maybe there would be enough families who could come up with the money, or, as an extra thought, just maybe some philanthropic person or organization would donate money to fill the gap.
If a group of Saltonstall parents start a one-time special fund to raise $150,000, I would be happy to give a small donation. After all, I did teach school for a good number of years and I enjoyed every moment of it (well, almost).
Anthony V. Salvo