Quality of education vital to well-being of our community

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Dear Editor:

On June 23, we will be voting to approve the construction of a new two-story addition to the Hansen Elementary School. The project adds eight new classrooms that replace four existing “temporary” modular spaces that have long out-lived their useful lives. The addition provides much-needed classroom space and includes a new fire safety system throughout the Hansen that better protects our most vital resource — our children. I support the request because it is necessary for our kids, necessary for the current well-being of our community, and necessary to sustain our position as an economic and educational leader in the future.

Our town is a wonderful place to live that boasts an AAA credit rating, an unusual accomplishment that is the envy of other Massachusetts cities and towns. One significant reason why that is so is because our community has always reasonably balanced residential, commercial and industrial interests. The town’s recent vote to approve the long-awaited Plymouth Rubber redevelopment is an example of that balance. Now is the time to focus our attention on and provide financial support for the schools.

What harm results if we do not vote to support this modest debt-exclusion override (which will cost the typical Canton homeowner about $26 in taxes per year)? It’s quite simple: in the absence of the modular spaces that must now be retired, 80 to 90 students will be forced to relocate to existing classrooms in the Hansen, redistricting to the JFK and Luce schools is possible if not probable, and a rise in student class sizes is inevitable. A scenario of more elementary-school children in fewer classrooms represents a recipe for failure, impacting equally the educational and municipal successes we have long enjoyed in the town of Canton.

As the son of a mother who taught public school in Newark, New Jersey and an immigrant father who drove taxis, and made and installed awnings and shades (and to his credit is still working at the age of 87), I have a healthy respect for a quality education and the needs of working families. Both interests compel support for the Hansen override. For me and for many of my friends and family with whom I grew up in Newark, the best possible education was vital to our subsequent achievement, and the same is true for our children today. Our kids benefit, working families who so rely on the best education benefit, and all of us who enjoy living in a desirable community with enviable property values benefit.

I ask that you join me in voting “yes” on June 23 to enhance the future of our young students and the place we call home.

Vic Del Vecchio

Former chair and current member, Canton Board of Selectmen

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Short URL: http://www.thecantoncitizen.com/?p=29916

avatar Posted by on Jun 19 2015. Filed under From One Citizen to Another, Opinion.
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