EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


June 4, 2014

Letter: Let's not fail our students again

To the editor:

My last child to go through the Haverhill Public Schools will graduate next year, but I am a property owner and the value of my house will be affected if Haverhill shoots itself in the foot again by failing to pass the debt exclusion for the new Hunking School on June 10. How can we refuse state funding which has now increased to 74 percent of the project? Do we really think we will find a way to solve this crisis locally for less than our 26-percent share of the proposed building project? The building’s structure is failing and we have to educate those children somewhere.

I am a parent whose children attended Burnham, Pentucket Lake, J.G. Whittier, and Haverhill High School. I have been active in many parent organizations in the Haverhill Public Schools for the last 25 years. I worked to pass the debt exclusion which paid for Haverhill’s only four modern elementary schools, and the two failed debt exclusions for our middle schools and high school. I also served on the high school renovation building committee.

By voting against the last two debt exclusions, the voters failed not only the students of our city but our community as a whole. On the building committee for the high school renovation, I saw first-hand the painful compromises in improvements that we needed to make to complete the project “on the city budget.” Had we passed that debt exclusion, we would have a totally renovated high school with an auditorium/civic center that Haverhill needs to attract major events. Instead, we have a partially renovated school with an auditorium that can barely hold the senior class.

The Haverhill renaissance that we have all enjoyed has been fueled by young families moving here for affordable homes. Do we really think they will want to live here and send their children to school in a community that fails to do its duty and support a good education system? I urge the citizens of Haverhill not to fail our students and our community again. Vote “yes” on June 10 to fund the building of the new Hunking School and continue our progress toward making Haverhill one of the best places in the commonwealth to live and raise a family!

Herbert Bergh


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