Following are notes that have been sent to City Council today (from a local listserv):
What do we need to do to fully fund the school budget? I am sure any parent of a school-age child would be willing to do what is necessary to anyprevent cuts to the budget.
We, as a community, can not afford to to jeopardize the education and future of our children.
I agree with V. We just need to make sure that the money is properly allocated. Where can we find a copy of the entire budget for review?
My husband and I moved to Oak Ridge for the great school system and the family community. We have one boy in 1st right now and 3 more coming up behind him. Oak Ridge schools need to be able to continue to attract great teachers like we have now.
My wife and I doubled our house payment when we moved from Roane County into Oak Ridge. We did this only because we value the Oak Ridge Schools. I especially value the arts and music. We have an outstanding strings program at fourth grade. We must not allow this to be cut. A few more cents in taxes is worth paying to preserve the excellence of our educational system. I sincerely hope our City Council does not allow our schools slip into mediocrity because of a few cents.
Please vote to fully fund the school system’s proposed budget.
Oak Ridge’s housing prices are propped up by the dearly held belief of people who work in this area that the school system is far superior to any in the surrounding areas. Comparisons are sometimes made to Maryville being able to do as well with slightly less money. We are not competing with Maryville for residents. We are competing with Anderson and Knox County schools, especially Farragut. As long as people believe the school system here is vastly superior, they will be willing to pay a premium to live within our city’s boundaries. My husband and I made that choice when we moved here with two young daughters, as have so many others.
Again, please vote to fully fund the school system’s proposed budget. The programs that will be cut otherwise, especially fourth grade strings, are what make it special. A bit extra in property taxes is small price to pay.
I am also concerned about losing some of the wonderful programs the Oak Ridge schools have now. My oldest daughter is going into Fourth Grade next year and has already decided to be in the strings program. I have 3 younger children that will benefit from these programs and I am certainly willing to pay a few more cents in taxes to make sure these programs are still in place. One big reason we haven’t moved out of Oak Ridge is the schools and the wonderful and talented teachers at Linden.
My family also moved to Oak Ridge for the excellent schools. Personally I would much rather have property taxes increased in place of making the proposed cuts. I am particularly concerned about cutting bus service within 1 1/2 miles of the schools. The world we live in is not as safe as it was when I walked to school from the babysitters as a child. I would not allow my children to walk from their sitters house. I’m sure this would put a strain on other working parents. In addition, I am concerned about increased class sizes, the 4th grade strings program and Drivers Ed cuts.
Please cut new vehicles, some other program, or raise taxes instead of cutting the school budget.
Additional notes will be added as they arrive.