The punchline

  • Published in Letters

To The Editor:

I was pleasantly surprised to see the headline “HUUSD central office budget down $5,700.” Then I read the article to discover the real truth; the actual school budget was going to increase $900,000! While I appreciate the savings effort, isn’t the headline a bit disingenuous? The real story and the headline should read “HUUSD budget increases $900,000.” Sad that this number comes at the very end of the article.

I’m not sure why the first paragraph of the article focuses on such a small, insignificant savings that has minimal impact on the ever-increasing school budget. Even with the consolidation of school districts there seems to be no end to budget increases. I’m sure the explanation is the savings will come later, but I’ve heard this many times from our legislators, only to be disappointed later when costs and taxes continue to rise.

While the article throws numerous numbers around about different savings and expenses, the punchline is in the last sentence, the very last word: “… an increase of $897,000.” When will reality settle in that annual spending increases drive property taxes higher and higher, with this year’s increase projected to be over 9 percent. With Vermont’s decreasing school population and per-student expenditures No. 1 in the country, it’s time to make this issue the headlines, and not a subtext in an article touting $5,700 savings in a $36 million school budget.

Michael Malekoff