LETTER: Watertown Schools Parent Group Says Fund Schools, Not CPA

Print More

Vote Button

Fund Schools First, Vote No On The CPA

Watertown Strong Schools (WSS) is urging Watertown voters to vote no on ballot question #5 regarding the Community Preservation Act (CPA).

Here’s why:

The funding needs of our schools should be Watertown’s highest priority at this time.

• All 5 of our schools are in urgent need of renovations and physical upgrades so that our buildings can support the overcrowding issues facing our Elementary schools and the high-quality 21 st Century education that all our children deserve.

• The Watertown Public Schools (WPS) Facilities Master Plan study is almost complete, and initial cost estimates are that we will need at least $200 million to upgrade our school buildings.

• We believe that the passage of the CPA in November could jeopardize the willingness of Watertown residents to vote in favor of a debt exclusion override that will be necessary in the next 1-2 years to fund these essential school renovations.

WSS is not taking a position against the merits of the CPA itself, but rather on the timing of the CPA ballot initiative.

• We agree that investment in preserving and enhancing our community in the areas of historic preservation, affordable housing, and parks and open spaces is a worthwhile goal.

• Nevertheless, at this time we do not see any of the needs or opportunities in these areas as rising to the same level of priority as the needed renovations of our schools

• We suggest that the CPA discussion be postponed until Watertown finalizes its school building needs and secures the funding for their associated costs.

We acknowledge that Watertown residents come from a wide range of economic situations and that for many the decision may come down to affordability and priorities. We cannot presume that a majority will vote for both the CPA and school building renovations. How many times will Watertown voters approve additional tax increases over a short period of time, particularly given the recent increase of multi-family property taxes?

We are not willing to risk the funding needed to move forward with future school building projects and the education of our students – Are you?

In order to spread our message, Watertown Strong Schools will be placing signs around town. If you support our position and are interested in hosting a yard sign, please contact watertownstrongschools@gmail.com with your name and address, and we will be sure to deliver the sign to you.

To keep informed about education-related issues in Watertown, visit our website at http://www.watertownstrongschools.com, and like our Watertown Strong Schools page on Facebook.

For more information about the CPA, please visit http://www.communitypreservation.org/.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *