To the Moderator, Moderator Pro Tempore, and Members of the
Representative Town Meeting (RTM),
On behalf of Greenwich PTA Council, the umbrella organization for the
fifteen Parent Teacher Associations of the Greenwich Public Schools, I am writing to you in support of the Education Budget, as presented within the Town Budget, both Operating and Capital. We encourage you to vote for the Budget, including the appropriation for the Greenwich High School (GHS) Music Instructional Space and Auditorium renovation (MISA). A significant majority of PTA Council, many voicing the opinion of their PTAs' leadership, continues to be in favor of MISA, a long-overdue necessary repair to our Town's one and only public high school.
The PTA supports investments in education, especially when there is a direct benefit to students. You have the ability to bring such a direct benefit to all of the children in the District. A rigorous vetting process has determined the important impact on curriculum, performing arts activities, and school cohesion. The First Selectman and the Board of Education (BOE) have identified MISA as the primary priority among non-maintenance capital items for the schools, the Board of Estimate and Taxation (BET) has determined that it is prudent to proceed, and various regulatory bodies have indicated approval, with the opportunity for public input throughout.
The BET, BOE, and RTM Budget Overview Committee have recommended appropriating the currently proposed amount. The original reasons for commencing construction are still valid, strong community support is still there, and each year of delay not only costs the Town money, but also disadvantages hundreds of students who move through the High School. The MISA Building Committee, composed of a variety of experts and representatives from every branch of Greenwich government, has thoroughly examined the plans, budgets, and procedures that are required to see the project through responsibly. We ask that you continue to repose your trust in the processes in place, and in the BET, which will move forward only with every due caution.
We are all deeply concerned about the uncertainty thrust upon us by the
necessity of remediating the GHS fields. We urge you not to target an
individual capital expenditure as the solution. Please use the facts placed at your disposal by the Building Committee, the RTM Joint Committee, and the Departments of Public Works and Finance. Allow the assurances of the BET to prevail, that they have taken the future into account and will be prepared for any likely eventuality.
It is in the nature of the PTA to work for improvements that our own children will never see, and MISA is an excellent example. We try to leave our schools a better place for the families who follow us. This is your opportunity to join us, and leave the Town a better place for the next generation.
Thank you all for your dedicated and thoughtful service on our behalf.
Lisa Beth Savitz
Greenwich PTA Council