Support of the School Budget

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We endorse the Sag Harbor School District’s proposed 2011-2012 budget. In the grand scheme of things, the $33,226,084 total budget presents a modest increase of $1.7 million over this year’s operating budget. (A far cry from last year’s whopping 11 percent increase.)

And with a two-percent property tax levy cap looming in the skies over Albany, it seems prudent for the district to propose such spending increases now, while it still has the ability to do so.

Of the big-ticket items in this year’s budget, a fully-funded pre-K program and a new elementary school playground have been grounds for debate for some in the community. While the need to replace a 20-year-old playground used most heavily by the youngest among us is certainly justified, even more pressing is the need to embrace universal pre-K.

As the population of non-native English speakers in Sag Harbor increases, the option for early childhood education cannot be overlooked. Early intervention will not only allow the district to address educational and social issues from the get-go (saving time and resources later on), but a free pre-K program will level the playing field for all families in the village with preschool-age kids.

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