To the editor:
Our Investment in public education has a huge impact on our community and we need to support our schools now, more than ever. The Sheffield Select Board and Finance Board have stated that they recommend a “pass over” of Article 3, Sheffield’s share of the SBRSD Operation and Transportation Budget. This would effectively mean a no vote and immediately impact the schools and students at this critical time of need. Are the Sheffield boards trying to ensure townspeople don’t get the opportunity to vote by creating this language to “skip over” the article?
Townspeople are entitled to vote for the budget and the town officials must allow them that right. I am not saying the boards are trying to disenfranchise the townspeople, but they have recommended we do not vote on this article at this time. Two of the district’s five towns, Alford and Egremont, have already voted and approved the budget at their respective town meetings this week.
I am asking the voters of Sheffield to support your town’s vitality and future on Monday, June 29th. Your children are that future and we need to support them as best we can. Beyond that, which should be enough, the district also employs approximately 60 Sheffield residents who could potentially lose their jobs. The district has already had to temporarily lay off 14 teachers, and more cuts would likely come if the budget is not passed.
In these trying times, we need to support one another and let our children know that we care about them and their future. Schools and teachers have had to bend over backward to continue to serve our students during this pandemic. We should recognize this and the coming challenges by voting YES on Article 3.
The Warrant can be found on Town’s website https://www.sheffieldma.gov/sites/g/files/vyhlif3806/f/uploads/annual_town_meeting_warrant_6-29-2020.pdf
Dr. Jonathan Bruno
The writer is a member of the Southern Berkshire Regional School District School Committee.