EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

February 5, 2014

Letter: Scare tactics in Timberlane School budget debate

The Eagle-Tribune

---- — To the editor:

Sandown representatives to the Timberlane Budget Committee have asked too many questions. They have been bullied at committee meetings and defamed in the news media. In retaliation, the administration is threatening residents by saying if a reduced budget is approved at the school deliberative session tomorrow night, Sandown Central School will be closed, middle school and freshman athletics eliminated, user fees introduced for music programs and transportation and class sizes increased.

These are scare tactics. I suggest that school bullying should be eliminated in all areas, including the administration.

The current economy is hurting families with high property taxes. We want a quality education for our children, but families want to stay in their homes, and with property taxes rising, that might not be an option. Many families struggling to pay property taxes do not have time to attend night meetings. They are working two jobs, single parents or grandparents raising their grandchildren. They want the school district to consider all the people, not just those who can afford higher property taxes.

Why does the administration want to silence opposition to their goals? There may be an effort by the administration to silence Donna Green at the school deliberative session. She has asked to present her suggested cuts to the budget with projected slides. Thus far, this has not been permitted. She will ask to speak. Her time may be cut short.

Ask teachers about voicing opinions different from the administration’s. You may learn that teachers are also afraid to speak up if they disagree with the administration. We deserve an administration that welcomes suggestions for improvement —from parents, teachers and Budget Committee members. The voters decide what they want from their school district. Let all the facts speak for themselves.

Linda Meehan