July 11, 2018

Mother of Two Encourages Board of Ed To Proceed With Referendum as Planned

To the Editor:

A referendum has been planned for this fall where voters can decide whether they support an expansion and update of the facilities of the Princeton Public Schools. As a mother of two children, 11 and 14, I am well aware of the overcrowding at the middle and high schools. In many of my eighth grader’s classes this year, there were 25 or even 30 children. There was hardly room to move, let alone get a good view of the board and teacher. Immediate action is necessary given the steadily increasing numbers of students.

It seems that a small, very vocal group of people who oppose this project have been mobilizing to prevent this referendum from taking place. This seems wrong to me, and is not how a democracy should work. It should not be the loudest who decide, it should be the majority, and the majority is being asked at the vote this fall.

There are many people in town who are in favor of the investment; many people who think there is only one choice: We are all worried about the tax impact, but we need to invest in our schools and our children. But these people have not been speaking up because they are waiting for the vote this fall.

I encourage the Board to proceed with the referendum as planned. I hope that the investment can be made in a way that the tax impact will be as low as possible; I hope that the major tax impact will only be limited to three years. But there is never a good time to raise taxes. The benefits (for some) of the tax reform are due to expire in a few years, so raising taxes then will be even worse than it is now. The time to act is now, while we can head off the worst overcrowding. We must act before we have kids in trailers, before we can no longer offer the curriculum the people in this district expect, and before our property values start going down because the schools are no longer a draw.

Wiebke Martens

Marion Road West