As you know 70-85% of your property taxes are driven by the School District Budget.

Right now, we have 3 NKTA members on the School Board, and 7 out of 8 on the Budget Committee. This is the time of year when NKTA most needs your help.

2018 can be a great year for the Sanborn District. If you come to the critical school district budget vote on Feb 7 (8).

If you don’t, it could be terrible and very expensive, for years to come.

For the kids and their education, and for the taxpayers and affordability. Both hand in hand.

The old belief that staff reductions- even with dropping enrollment- are bad for kids is going. The new understanding that we need to train teachers better is here. The completely new approach, that the District probably has the money already in its budget, that can be reallocated to pay for what we really need, is at the forefront.

We have a mostly new Administrative Leadership team, which is retaining good innovations from the former, discarding some still retained unnecessary expenses, and adding in some much needed new improvements.

They have been on the job only since July 1, and the Superintendent only since October, so there is still a lot of work to be done.

NKTA acknowledges that the new team is seeking to find middle ground with all parties, for the best interest of the District and the towns. There are still some wingnuts on all sides, of course.

Some have been so wounded from past bad experiences, that trust will take a while to rebuild.

Some are so entranced with the prior Administration’s convictions that they believe that only by spending more and more can we achieve better results, and that includes absolutely no staff reductions.

This latter group will stand up at the Deliberative Session and propose a higher budget. And, unless we have a huge turnout – yes, every vote truly counts! – they can win the vote there. It usually takes a majority of 50-100 votes. One year it was only 17 that won the vote.

The results from the Deliberative, go before the voters at the polls.

Right now, there is a choice. Neither budget is yet finalized for the Deliberative. The Budget Committee will be finishing its proposed budget work on Jan 18. The School Board will finish the alternative Default by January 25. While preliminary, right now there is about $700,000 in difference between them, with the Default budget the higher one.

At the Deliberative, one of three things can happen:

1. The proposed budget will remain about the same. (It should not be reduced, because we need to work with this new Admin, so they can continue to look at what is there. We already reduced the probable room in the budget last year, and there are very limited reserves. The voters approved a 2.8% increase last year, without any changes. The current proposed budget is an increase of .5%, which means it has current operating cost decreases and yet pays for the voter-approved teacher and support staff salary increases.)

2. The proposed budget get raised to about the same as the default budget. This takes away any choice.

3. The proposed budget gets increased as much as 10%, the limit in law, above the proposed. Then the default, now about $700K less than the current proposed, becomes the less costly alternative.

The default cannot be changed at the Deliberative.

Bottom line, your presence and your vote at that meeting are essential! At the Deliberative Feb 7. (Snow date Feb 8.)

So is everyone you know. This is so worth it.

Worth it, for our tax rates. Worth it, because this proposed budget is not only economical, but is what the Administration has asked for, can work with, and will give good outcomes for our kids. Worth it, because we have teacher and support contracts to be proposed and passed next year, giving stability and good education for our children.

Please plan on being there on Feb 7 (8). Please pass the word. Please support NKTA with your memberships and contributions, so we can spread the word. Please let us know if you want a neighborhood get to-gether.

Ask questions. PLEASE commit to be there on Feb 7 (8).

Annie Collyer, Secretary
Jim Baker, Chairman