Newburyport, Special Election — Just Say “No”

Oh, good grief! The Newburyport School Committee is proposing a special election for this Spring to start the ball rolling on the funding for the proposed $30 million dollar elementary school building extravaganza.

First of all the special election would cost the tax payers $17,000 (Newburyport Daily News, November 29, 2006). There is NO money for that. Please.

The push, or the panic button push, or the “our children will be destroyed forever” push, if you will is “overcrowding.”

But, what the School Committee is NOT talking about (or at least that I can find out) is that there is a short term solution to the overcrowding situation that would cost very little money compared to what they are proposing. (Preliminary estimate to new construction at the Bresnahan — $4.3 million, the beginning of the $30 million spending extravaganza.)

Not ideal, but as I understand it, an all full day kindergarten could be out of the Brown Elementary School, thereby freeing up much needed space at the Bresnahan Elementary School.

Money for busing, yes, but a lot less than the proposed $4.3 million. Come on.

The argument against this — not good for our children to have to switch back and forth between neighborhood schools. They could be permanently, irretrievably, emotionally harmed.

Oh, good grief, that is just ridiculous.

At kindergarten and early elementary school ages, one does not need a expensive consultant/researcher to know that this back and forth stuff would NOT cause irrefutable harm to our young Newburyport school children. Good grief again.

Free up the space at the Bresnahan Elementary School and then go back to the drawing board right away and come up with a sensible, realistic, fiscally responsible solution (there are four very valuable pieces of property here, see previous posts) that the taxpayers will support.

Do not waste everyone’s time and valuable money. I’m not even talking compromise here. I’m talking a good dose of downright Yankee commonsense, not pie in the sky, dreamy $30 million dollar building plan.

Mary Eaton