I am writing this as a businesswoman, mother, grandmother, and citizen living in Groton for the past 21 years.
While we all are upset about the situation regarding the budget crisis for our schools, we all need to take a step back and look at the total picture of what we are about to vote on.
First, let me speak as a Realtor in Groton for the past 20 years. I have seen cuts for our schools over these years and votes on what to do about meeting a reasonable budget. I have heard “empty nesters” say “ I’ve raised my kids, why should I vote to give more money to the schools and pay more taxes?”
The reason we ALL need to pay attention to this and not allow our school programs to be drastically reduced is our property values. Groton has always been desirable for its picturesque town center, lovely surroundings and good schools. Buyers want to purchase a home here to involve themselves in the community and have their children attend the schools. Without sufficient programs to attract these buyers, and, if our high school drops some valuable programs that will cause colleges to think twice about admitting our students, then the property values will drop drastically.
I have lived in a town where the high school lost its accreditation due to budget cuts and the property values plummeted so fast and took years to recover.
Let’s not allow this crisis to cause our beautiful town and great schools to suffer. We can get through this. Over the 21 years I have lived here we have faced budget crisis before and always made it through.
Second, let me speak as a mother and grandmother of children who have gone through the school system. We have wonderful teachers, wonderful schools. Our children get accepted to some of the best colleges in the country. We cannot allow this crisis to cause problems for our children in their future dreams/aspirations. Please come out to support the efforts of everyone trying to find a solution to the latest crisis. Our children, teachers and the staff at our good schools did not cause this. We have wonderful volunteers who serve our schools.
Let’s all come together as a community and find a solution to this that does not strip our valuable schools of what our children need. We all need to keep in mind that without good schools, property values go down quickly and buyers will be looking elsewhere to purchase property.