Last week, after receiving many emails about the 2013 Marple Newtown School District budget, I was thinking about attending the school board meeting. Could the board members seriously be considering cuts such as musical instruments and librarians?
I had a hard time swallowing this possibility but wanted to have a voice in the matter if it were true. Having five children, three of whom are in college after receiving an excellent education in Marple Newtown, I felt a responsibility to help assure the same opportunities would remain available for not only my younger children but generations to come.
I made a quick phone call to the District’s Administration Building to be sure the topic would be mentioned since it was not on the agenda posted on the website. At the recommendation of the woman who answered the phone, I left my name and number and very soon after I received a phone call from Mr. Driscoll, MNSD’s Business Manager, and our Superintendent Dr. Merle Horowitz. What a refreshing display of communication!
Mr. Driscoll and Dr. Horowitz very patiently summarized the steps involved in creating the new budget. They assured me nothing was being decided that night. They told me that, although the first meeting about the budget was not scheduled until January, the fact that parents, students and residents were coming together to voice their opinion to the school board before the budget was discussed was a proactive measure. Our conversation was informative and friendly. I hung up the phone feeling satisfied and was looking forward to the meeting that night.
The meeting was packed. When it was time to listen to public comment about the upcoming budget there was no shortage of volunteers. Every speaker shared the same sentiment in his or her own way. Residents made it clear that they were happy to pay a tax increase (about $32 a year per household) in order to provide the best possible education for our children and to help Marple Newtown remain a desirable place to live.
No more cuts to school programs, please! The board members listened attentively and appreciated all the input. They thanked everyone for coming and commented that it was good to know what the community wanted before the 2013 budget was created.
This was an uplifting example of a system that works. Thank you, Mr. Driscoll and Dr. Horowitz, for taking the time to talk to me. Thank you to the School Board for listening and responding to the community. Most of all thank you, students, for working hard and valuing your education. I am proud to be a Marple Newtown parent and resident.
Marple Newtown Parent
Newtown Square Resident