Letter: Repairing the Damage in Concord
To the Editor:
I would like to point out to John Franz of Dorchester (“State Goofs; Others Pay a Price,” Jan. 19) that among the individual legislators who made the goof that may cost his and my school districts way too much money and educational quality, most are now out of office, or at least confined to a minor role this term. The people fighting against what those representatives were doing in the House are now running the show, and it would be their attempt to right the wrong that you would stifle. As for the Department of Education, it has always been understaffed, and it is unfortunately not surprising that department employees did not notice the peculiar combination of language in the budget bill until it was too late. Reducing the department’s staffing even further would not help.
Alas, it is not only this item — which we think we can correct — that is menacing our towns, schools and overall quality of life. There was a successful effort last term to cut revenues to force a further cost-shifting to local districts this term, as well as forcing reduced funding for all the state-level services that make our lives here attractive. This next budget will be bad, because the revenues have been cut, and we cannot restore funding without help from the Republican-led Senate, which approved these cuts last term. The Senate frowns on reversing them because a majority there think the cuts are pro-business (though most benefit only large, out-of-state corporations). They need to understand that businesses cannot survive without trained, healthy workers, a safe and legal environment, adequate transportation, and the quality of life that in the past attracted entrepreneurs here.
And I beg New Hampshire voters to remember that it does not suffice to come out every four years during a presidential election. If you want your state to survive and regain an even keel, you need to come out for the off-elections, too.
Rep. Susan Almy, Democrat