To the Editor of Litchfield.bz:
This letter is written in response Paul Mordecai Rosenberg recent comments on the proposed zero-percent education budget increase.
In Litchfield, we need to aspire to dialogue that addresses issues civilly and avoid personal attacks that serve only to obfuscate.
It is critical that we, as a community, understand that the Board of Education members are volunteers. It is not a paid position - these volunteers dedicate themselves to an important, and often, thankless job. Matt Terzian did not "weasel" himself onto the board. He was elected to serve our community and is invested because he has children in the system. He should not be ridiculed for it. Saying that he has a self-serving agenda and is on the board simply for the benefit of his own children is logically flawed. By that reasoning, he cannot hold an opinion that would further the interest of any of the children who would benefit from his vote if his own children also benefit. By that logic, the selectman should not live in the town because he might personally benefit from creating a positive environment.
Mr. Terzian is not the only parent with children in Litchfield schools on the Board. Mr. Rosenberg's opinion seemingly is a response to Mr. Terzian stating that he wouldn't support elimination of educational programs. The real issue has nothing to do with if Mr. Terzian has children in Litchfield schools, the real issue is why do we need a zero-percent increase? Is that truly the best thing for our community and if so, why? Is that what the majority believe and again why? These are things that should be discussed with facts, logical reasoning - civil discourse. Yes, there is a decrease in enrollment but could we counter this but making our schools better? continued
To the Editor:
I honestly can’t believe I am validating your opinion by responding, but I feel compelled to because my fellow parents and our children deserve better.
I find your tone to be condescending, uninformed, and quite frankly similar to that of a bully. Essentially exactly what I hope my children never resort to when they disagree with something.
You talk about there being a conflict of interest with a parent on the BOE, but I would ask you, doesn’t that same conflict of interest exist if you do not have a child in the school system? This is the very reason the BOE is elected and represents both sides. The last time I checked our whole political system is built on the same premise.
If you disagree with spending more on education or believe the $18M we spend is not utilized correctly I would prefer you just state that and the reasons why. That way we can either agree, disagree, or at least learn something from you.
I myself believe that having a top tier school system is a good thing for the Town of Litchfield and it’s not because I have two kids in it. It’s because I benefited from a good public school education that afforded me the opportunity to attend an ivy league university and provide an outstanding life for my family in a town that I love.
To the Editor of Litchfield.bz:
Before Litchfield taxpayers celebrate the school superintendent’s proposed budget that, among other goodies, shows no increase for the coming fiscal year, let’s get real. It’s the school superintendent, after all, and the school board. And the school budget.
Normally the school spenders start the process by asking for more than they expect to get from the finance board and voters. But this year they’re evidently depending on the few parents of the ever-dwindling pupil populace to stamp their feet and do other infantile things a newly-minted super suggested 20 years ago to get what they want and thereby reject or otherwise ruin a zero-increase budget.
And sure enough, to no one’s surprise, this year a parent who got himself on the school board already has started the process to squeeze more money out of taxpayers. Newbie member Matthew Terzian, according to the bz story, “made it clear he has some issues with the spending plan, saying he would not support the elimination of programs.”
I can recall several instances of parents weaseling themselves onto—but that’s unkind; let’s say, rather, getting themselves elected to—Litchfield’s school board simply to further the interests of their own children. But surely Matt isn’t one of them.
Yet allowing parents of sitting pupils to serve on school boards isn’t considered a conflict of interest. Go figure . . .
Paul Mordecai Rosenberg