To the editor:

Last Tuesday, our community voted. It supported the proposed school budget and all of the school district’s warrant articles. The budget and the warrant articles are all in line with the community-developed strategic plan.

I suspect the voices will start up now, that those who voted have a personal connection to the school district. Have the “wrong people” voted? I’ve heard it before; I’ll hear it again. But here’s a reality, again, the community supported the direction the school district is going in. I am proud of the work we have done on the school board. I am proud to be re-elected to the board.

In 1972, because of an accident on Cannon Cliff, our illustrious governor, Meldrim Thomson, proposed closing all cliffs on New Hampshire state property to climbing. This would include Cannon Cliff, Cathedral Ledge and Whitehorse Ledge. The climbing community didn’t sit back and whine, no, the Mountain Rescue Service was formed. Climbers took on the role, voluntarily, to provide their skills and their hours to help those who were hurt or lost, not just on the cliffs, but anywhere that we were needed, often in perilous conditions.

When we started into the development of our strategic plan for our school district, we had community-wide meetings, all were invited to put forth their thoughts on the direction our school district should be going in, what was needed to be accomplished and how to get there. Again, all were invited. There were focus groups, surveys, etc. It took almost two years to complete. It is truly a road map for the future of education in our community.

The education of the past cannot prepare our children for their future. Our children will be competing against the best and the brightest from around the world. If we do not educate them to the best of our ability, it will be disastrous for our community and our country.

I’ve heard time and again, it isn’t affordable. The hard reality for some is that we are the 46th lowest-taxed state in the country. Only four states have a lower tax load than us. I don’t believe it’s the tax load, I believe it’s how we are taxed. It’s all property tax, a bill we look at, a check we have to write, twice a year. We are not paying more, it’s just how we’re paying.

It’s time to admit that the community supports the direction of the school district. It’s time for all of us to ask, “What can I do to help?”

I have the words of writer Eldridge Cleaver ringing in my ears “you’re either part of the solution or you’re part of the problem.”

Joe Lentini

Conway

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