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COMMENTARY: ‘It Was Not Premature to Sound Alarm’ Last Month About School Budget

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The Westford Education Association sought to bring next year’s school budget to the attention of residents as soon as we began hearing it would be worse than this year’s budget (that resulted in the complete amputation of our Pre First Program, elementary digital learning specialists and teacher assistants among others).

School Committee Chair Avery Adam’s reply to those concerns being proactively raised at this time by the WEA was an open letter that stated, “While we hear your concerns, statements about the town’s budget and school department allocations are premature at this time.”

A member of the select board publicly questioned where that info came from since it was not yet made public. Neither member of an elected board addressed our concerns in a way that was acceptable or satisfactory. Fast forward from November to December.

Now a month has passed, and we all know that it was NOT premature to sound the alarm a month ago. Now the message has shifted to “it’s early” and “there are still lots of budget meetings” before Town Meeting. The WEA is not content to sit back with the writing so clearly on the wall and watch the dominoes fall in neatly prearranged predictable patterns. Our schools and students deserve better. We need to do better than stand idly by and see the school system we all love cut, chopped, and forced to cannibalize itself year after year.

Some things are worth fighting for; Westford’s students are worth fighting for.

Mike Colson is president of the Westford Education Association