Valley News – Forum, May 1: Consequences of Croydon budget cuts

Published: 5/2/2022 11:00:26 AM

Modified: 5/2/2022 10:58:53 AM

Consequences of Croydon budget cuts

I vigorously oppose HB 1393. I live in Croydon with my wife Stephanie and our two sons. Thomas and Colin started their academic lives at the one-room schoolhouse affectionately dubbed “lil red.” Many have heard of Croydon — you get the spotlight when your school budget is slashed by 54% and not even the person that proposed the slash has a viable solution. Thanks to opportunities in public school, combined with hard work and dedication, my sons are intelligent, well-spoken, athletic, passionate and community-minded young men.

Tommy, a junior at Newport High School, consistently performs at or above his grade level. He exercises a thirst for hands-on learning at the Sugar River Valley Technical Center welding program, has earned numerous certifications and takes pride in mentoring underclassmen.

Colin, who has ODD and ADHD, attends 5th grade at Richards Elementary School. At Croydon Village School, Colin benefited greatly from the intimate setting with attentive, professional, understanding and capable staff. The transition to the larger school in Newport with a slightly more diversified group of students suited Colin. He is currently flourishing and looks forward to attending “nature’s classroom” before moving on to Newport Middle High School.

The opportunities afforded to my sons, and the education that they’ve strived to attain, would be impossible to achieve if HB 1393 passes. I strongly urge you to oppose this bill for my sons and all other future leaders. The financial hardships and fiscal ramifications of public education should not be placed solely upon families of children attending public schools. I’m part of a group of concerned residents in Croydon that recognizes this bill as irresponsible, irrational and an assault on public education. The negative repercussions of this bill on families who cannot afford to make up tuition differences for schools their children are attending are vast. How many children will suffer due to inconsiderate actions of a minority of people?! Please learn from the crisis in Croydon. Passing HB 1393 to allow for school district budget caps will detrimentally affect small towns like Croydon. It nails shut the coffin on public education. I urge you to oppose HB 1393.

Edward Spiker

Croydon

Community Center benefits all ages

I am writing in support of the proposed Newport Community Center. There will be a bond vote on May 10 to appropriate the funds to build this new center, which is long overdue. The actual cost in Newport taxes is $4 million, which is slightly more than half of the anticipated costs. Rarely can a community realize such an opportunity, and the time is now.

There have been several letters and an op-ed piece touting the value of a community center for our youth. And there have been many stories about how being involved in the activities at the current 100-year-old building helped develop character and skills in today’s residents. But one group has been left out in this discussion — the Golden Oldies!

The Community Center is not just for kids, young adults and middle-aged volleyball players. Three times a week, a group of “mature adults” gathers for low-impact strength training exercise. Our youngest member is 65 and our Grand Dame is 100 years young. We come from around the area: Newport, Croydon, Acworth and Unity, for example, and for a modest fee we get terrific exercise, three wonderful trainers and lots of camaraderie. It is vital for people our age to stay fit and move so that we all can have a long healthy future. The old center is difficult to navigate for some of us, and — heaven forbid — there is only one toilet.

Residents of Newport, we need a new environmentally safe and larger multipurpose facility. Please vote YES on May 10 and bring a new Community Center to Newport. After all, we say “Newport New Hampshire, a great place to call home!” Let’s add this to our assets.

Virginia Irwin

Newport

St. Paul’s housing project is a step in the right direction

I am a Town of Hartford resident and a member of St. Paul’s Church. I do speak with reference to my membership in the church — that is, I support this project as a member of St. Paul’s. There is no doubt that there will be a financial benefit derived from this project for the church, i.e., proceeds from the sale of church property. But this project is about much more than the money. It is a smart move for the church considering its aging, dwindling membership. I speak for myself and not the church, but I do sincerely believe it is much more about helping other people in the Upper Valley, sharing our very special place in the Town of Hartford, with those in need.

I live in the Lily Pond area of White River Junction. Within the last five years, two housing projects located on a hill overlooking Lily Pond have been built and occupied. Both were built and are managed by Twin Pines Housing to provide affordable housing for those in need.

The residents of either of these projects may not be the exact same demographic as the population of folks the St. Paul’s project is intended for (single adults) but certainly people of a similar plight. The only change I’ve noticed in the years since folks have taken up residence in these buildings is more people walking past on the street. Some folks are walking dogs. Others are not, just out for a stroll. Some say hello, and most don’t. But no one has ever been anything but civil toward me.

When I think of the folks who have been helped by these two Twin Pines projects with a roof over their heads and the security of four walls weighed against any possible insult to my existence, I feel troubled that I could’ve ever objected.

Tom McCleary

White River Junction

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