Give residents alternatives to costly high school construction

Give residents alternatives to costly high school construction

I encourage our Lincoln town administrator to show bold and vigilant leadership in his efforts to continue to protect the Lincoln taxpayer.

Recent news reports have indicated that the Lincoln school building committee is reviewing high school building proposals – new and renovations – that could place a school bonding referendum before the voters in the amount between $40 million and $70 million. Councilor Russo has pointed out that Lincoln could bond $32 million before tax increases would further burden the Lincoln taxpayer.

It has also been reported that Lincoln High School will soon have only 700 students, with further declines in the future. Lincoln must adjust its spending in accordance with this reality.

It is unacceptable to ask taxpayers to commit (which I believe they will reject) to tens of millions of dollars without offering them viable, less costly, alternatives.

Many parents demand school choice and are moving away from public union high schools and the public union benefits that crush the taxpayer; we need elected leaders who will stand with parents and their students in choosing where they want to be educated. Lincoln has had school board members who promote our public union schools, only to send their children to a non-public, non-union school. It is past time to support parents and students by giving them tuition vouchers from state funds, thus eliminating that portion of property taxes (property tax relief) and empowering parents to have educational choice, rather than having taxpayer educational dollars controlled by public union schools.

In another matter of vital importance to Lincoln taxpayers, I urge Mr. Almond to act forcefully to seize the opportunity to gain General Assembly authority to have Lincoln voters vote on merging all Lincoln fire districts under town control while the iron is hot, rather than waste this opportunity on merging a de facto defunct Lonsdale fire district with the Saylesville fire district.

John J. Cullen

Lincoln, R.I.