Regarding Jeff Peterson’s Dec. 10, 2020 Foxboro Reporter article on the 2022 Foxboro school budget:

It is telling that the referenced article begins, “Just in time for the Christmas season….” Also just in time are: (1) the hardy perennial school budget increase request; (2) the usual annual request which goes beyond the selectmen established budget target; (3) and the routine utterly nonsensical budget justification words from the schools superintendent.

Imagine the temerity of schools Business Administrator Bill Yukna saying the budget is “bare bones”—truly incredible! And, the unmitigated chutzpah of Superintendent Amy Berdos to apparently believe “principal strategies” are anything other than empty words which anyone with common sense could have easily written — and to think we are paying her almost $200,000 to write such gibberish.

“Ensuring equity for all students”—no kidding. “Promoting community engagement”—really? Does that include the tax paying community or just taxpayers with children in schools? And, to think that “providing opportunities that are rigorous, relevant and respond to the needs of students” is anything but what one would expect—come on! My, my, the superintendent must have been awake all night trying to come up with these blindingly obvious words. One might expect real justification for budget increases.

As been the case each year, the Foxboro School Department appears as an entity unto itself, with disdain for all town taxpayers, disregard for selectmen targets and guidance, and with seemingly no inclination to look within to determine where prudent reductions can be made to lessen the taxpayer burden.

It’s about time we as taxpayers hold the school department and school board accountable by demanding a rigorous review of all budget items with recommendations for cuts instead of the annual steady drumbeat for more and more.

To that end, perhaps it would be useful if taxpayers take the superintendent’s guidance for promoting community engagement and organize sign-carrying demonstrations outside administrative offices to encourage reductions and lessening the taxpayer burden.

Absent that, it’s about time for selectmen to demand such a review and act to reduce the school budget to reflect the real world of fiscal challenges and concerns.

Francis P. Keough, Foxboro

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