I think I have a solution to the school funding problem – no overrides required – in fact we’ll SAVE money. Just send as many students possible to local private Catholic schools. No! I’m not kidding!
If we sent 10 of our students to Notre Dame in Tyngsboro, we’ll save about $30,000.00 annually. The tuition at NDA is $10,500 per year for their high school students. And lest you think they provide an inferior product, this tuition includes music, art and whiz-bang technology like i-pads and Nooks! The bonus is that if there’s a child whose anti-social behavior is bringing down the whole class, they give him or her the boot! If our students stay there to graduate, the town saves $120,000.00
There are similar savings to be had at Central Catholic and Bishop Guertin.
Now you may have an inkling as to why the Selectman are running from this override like it’s radioactive. It is also why Mr. O’Connell’s call to arms to get as large an override as possible was particularly ill-advised.
Now I understand that NDA isn’t burdened with all the requirements that Dracut schools have to contend with and I realize and support the need to educate everyone.
You know, I saw something in the news today about potentially 86,000 Massachusetts state employees will have the option of retiring at age 50 if they’ve served for ten years. People routinely live to 80-85. Thirty years we’ll be paying and insuring them. I wonder what impact this will have on the State’s education aid to the towns. But when you bring this up your local Rep says you’re trying to balance the budget on the backs of firefighters.
I love the public school my son goes to. My wife and I have been pleased with the dedicated and hard-working staff. We could probably afford the override. There are many who can’t, and that doesn’t mean they are anti-education.
But right now that promise of affordable public education that was the founding principle of our country’s public school system is belied by the fact that now it’s cheaper to send them to private school.