On average, the Easton Board of Finance budget for the Easton Board of Education has been under 2% for the last dozen years. The major factor making this possible was declining enrollment.
Our enrollment has now stabilized and is projected to rise over the next decade. Therefore, the savings we were able to take advantage of are now gone.
It is not a secret that our educational offering to our children is in jeopardy. The board has clearly shown where are costs are coming from, with $318K in contractual salaries and $226K in health insurance.
Further, there is a strong desire to restore positions that were eliminated last year, resulting from budget cuts.
The Board of Education is also clear, there is nothing easy about budgeting the town’s finances. With no new revenue available and fixed costs continuing to rise, everyone is in a bad place.
We know the Board of Finance needs to budget for public works, police, fire, town hall, library and park/recreation — just to name a few. Still, previous generations in town did what was needed to ensure a great education for our children.
I can only hope the Board of Finance can embrace that same spirit for the children of today.