Friday, May 1, 1998

Override does not represent extravagance

To the Editor:

I would like to express my support for the override that the town of Carlisle will be asked to approve this year. The major component of the override is for education and I will confine my comments to this area.

I have a number of reasons for supporting the education budget including:

Simple patriotism. Effective public education for our population is a necessity if we are to maintain our national economic status and in Massachusetts, support of education comes primarily from the local level. I feel that my tax dollars are going directly towards the support of a major national priority.

Though as a more or less senior citizen I will receive no direct benefit from the Carlisle Schools, I feel that the value of my real estate holding is directly coupled to the perceived quality of education in Carlisle. Any realtor will confirm this statement.

State-mandated costs associated with the provision of education and transportation for those students who cannot receive full benefit from a normal classroom situation has had a significant and increasing impact on the education budget. If we can improve our services for this segment of the school population, we will at least reduce transportation costs, if not education costs as well. I believe that early attention to the development of basic communication and social skills in the preschool population may well have significant impact on the requirements for special education in the lower grades. I understand that the Carlisle Schools are considering the possibility of preschool service improvement and I want to encourage such action.

Anyone who has experienced the impact of short-term budgetary action on long-term morale and commitment in an organization should realize that the overall cost seldom matches the immediate appearance of savings. I believe that the Carlisle Schools are still recovering from the effects of the previous failed override.

Overrides in a growing town like Carlisle do not represent extravagance. They are a fact of life if the town services are to remain at the same level over a period of years.

Wendell G. Sykes

Indian Hill Road