To The Editor:

I attended the Harwood Unified Union School Board meeting on January 16 and expressed my concern that the board has approved no major changes that will benefit students and taxpayers since becoming a unified board. This, despite Superintendent Nease proposing reasonable changes including school consolidation. There was discussion at the meeting for bringing all middle school students to Crossett Brook, but by no means was there vocal support. This would result in an appropriate class size that would permit increased educational offerings and staff reductions. The school board will be deciding at their next board meeting on January 30 whether to present the taxpayer with a 5 percent increase for FY 2020. I imagine that this will be presented as a bare bones budget request. I would vote for it, if at the same time I saw there were concrete steps taking place to reduce the number of schools and place students in a positive class size environment. I understand that one of the elementary schools currently has a second-grade class that has five boys. What will happen next? Consolidating grades in a school in order to keep the school open? Is that the best outcome for the students or the taxpayer? It is time to let the board know that the taxpayer will no longer just keep approving budgets every year (not to mention bonds) without reasonable change. It is past time for the board to step up and act like a board of a “unified” district. They have another month to show me they are serious. Otherwise, I’m voting no on the 2020 budget. It would be the first time in 40 years of voting that I would not support my town’s school budget.

Douglas Stoehr