EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Opinion

June 5, 2014

Letter: Haverhill is worth a new school

To the editor:

I am writing in support of a “yes” vote on the debt exclusion for a new Caleb Dustin Hunking School on June 10. I have no children in the Haverhill school system. All our children did attend the Hunking School as did their mother. I do have grandchildren in the Haverhill school system, but they do not attend the Hunking School.

This project will affect all aspects of Haverhill life, starting with our overcrowded elementary schools. This situation can get better or worse depending on the vote on June 10. The cost of transporting these students will increase and the overcrowding will also increase, depending on the vote on June 10.

To meet these costs, if the debt exclusion does not pass, the city and School Department will be forced to make cuts in services they provide to students and citizens alike such as all-day kindergarten, art, music, athletics in our middle and elementary schools. On the city side, it could affect our police and fire departments and basic city services. These could occur if the debt exclusion fails, the city would be responsible for the entire bill to make these temporary fixes. We can avoid these results with a “yes” vote on June 10.

What effect will this have on home values in Haverhill? Will people continue to look for homes in Haverhill if their children would be either bused out of their neighborhood or attend an already overcrowded school? How about businesses coming to Haverhill? Will these issues enter their decision? Of course they will because they will ask the same questions a prospective homeowner will ask.

Let us now look at the brighter side of the debt exclusion for the Caleb Dustin Hunking School. The state has approved a K-8 school which will ease overcrowding in the schools across the city. Approximately 62 percent of the cost of the new school will be reimbursed by the state. The money Haverhill receives is your tax money each of us pays over the years to the state. It will be coming back to Haverhill, not going somewhere else.

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