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Considering sending this to The Walpole Times

March 13, 2011

I was very disappointed to read in last week’s Walpole Times that the Walpole school department is once again facing a massive budget gap next year.

Unfortunately, I am equally disappointed that no one at Town Hall seems to have an explanation for where all of our tax dollars and fees are already going. The Town of Walpole will be collecting nearly $2 million in extra tax revenue during the next fiscal year, thanks to increases in the local meals tax and property taxes. I would like the politicians at Town Hall to explain where this $2 million in extra tax revenue is actually going, since it quite obviously is not going to balancing the school budget, or the municipal budget either. We are all paying more, and yet we will be getting less from our government next year. This does not seem to make much sense.

The School Department now says they are exploring raising student fees once again. This is on top of the already exorbitant class dues, parking fees, bus fees, extended day fees, preschool fees, textbook/workbook fees, lunch fees, kindergarten fees, activity fees, and athletic fees, just to name a few of the many fees public school students in Walpole pay.

It is truly outrageous, for example, that you are not allowed to attend kindergarten in this town unless you shell out a few thousand dollars. Students are also not allowed to attend their own graduation unless they pay over $100 for class dues.

Apparently getting a public school education in Walpole nowadays means you have to be independently wealthy. Even if you pay taxes, your kids will have to pay outrageous fees just to step in the door of their local elementary school, if they even get to the door in the first place with the outrageous bus fees.

If you do not have kids in the public school system, I would still encourage you to hold on to your wallets. With $2 million in extra revenue from our wallets, Town Hall still can not balance its budget. This should make you wonder where your money is really going.

Send emails and make phone calls to the Town Administrator, School Superintendent, and the members of the Board of Selectmen and School Committee and ask them where the $2 million in extra revenue has gone. What are they doing with our money?

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