Two votes!  Two votes is all it took for Haddam Killingworth’s education budget to fail last week.

On Tuesday, May 12, the  Madison town and school budgets will be up for referendum and your vote counts.  The voters of Madison will have an opportunity to decide what kind of school system we want for our children and our community.

Under the leadership of Superintendent Scarice and a bipartisan coalition within the Board of Education, the Board of Education adopted a responsible budget that continues the Board’s strategic plan to enhance the quality of education for our children.   The budget calls for an increase of 2.49%, almost all of which is required for fixed costs, like salaries and bond payments, over which the Board has no control.  Only 0.69% is provided for non-contractual spending needed for the Board’s highest priorities:  replacing outdated curriculum, professional development for teachers, better technology, and basic maintenance for school buildings.

A faction on the Board of Education has been determined to reduce the school budget, and they have found support within the Board of Finance and the Republican party.  They have tried to undermine the budget at every step of the process and they seem determined to carry on the fight.  Our schools and our children are Madison’s greatest asset.  Our schools draw people to town and keep our property values high.  We need a strong turnout on Tuesday to send a clear message to those who would diminish our schools to advance an ideological, anti-tax agenda.

Additionally, the town budget contains an increase of 3.5%.  Much of this increase is earmarked for the reserve funds, which were depleted during the tough financial times.  The proposed budget begins to fund  the backlog of critical capital projects, including badly needed repairs to our roads.

Both budgets are fiscally responsible and designed to maintain our quality of life.  Haddam Killingworth has demonstrated that with low voter turnout, a small number of votes can determine the whether or not we properly fund our town and schools.  We need your vote on Tuesday, and please bring a friend. Your vote will make a difference.