This Override has to pass


To the Editor,

Thirty teachers and ten town officials will likely be cut if the override doesn’t pass. In this complicated world that we live in, that our children are growing up in, I want as many caring, smart adults willing to dedicate their lives to educating and protecting others to be available to my children. Like many others, I am a working mother. On average, I spend about 15 hours per work week with my school aged children. Their teachers get them a minimum of 32.5 hours (OK, maybe 32.25 depending how timely we are each morning). That is DOUBLE the opportunity that I have. These people certainly devote their lives to educating my children, but it’s more than that. They are the eyes and ears that ensure my girls aren’t struggling, or even more importantly, to know if they are. They are the para that hugged my kindergartner throughout her first week of school as the tears were flowing and the teacher that spends her spare time figuring out how to introduce her first graders to the practice of mindfulness. And these are the easy years. I want my children to have comfort in the connections they make with teachers as they navigate the stress and pressure of middle and high school. Every job lost means hundreds of lost connections with children that may so desperately need them.

Both of my daughters were lucky enough to be placed in an Integrated classroom setting this year. They have seven adults between the two of them. Seven amazing people dedicating their days (and nights) to helping my husband and I raise happy, well-adjusted little people. The variety of adults allows them to cater to the multitude of personalities, learning styles and needs of each and every child. The thought of cutting these jobs is maddening. When in reality we should be looking to add more so that the child to teacher ratio could be better for all, not just in these integrated settings.

I reached out to my daughter’s current teacher at Birch Meadow to get her take on the override. She quickly called me and before I could get a word in, with a deep sigh said, “This override has to pass.”

So yes, it will cost more money. And yes, many of you may not have three small children that would be directly affected. But in this complicated and sometimes horrifying world we’ve all created and are trying to make sense of, the children are the ones we need to protect and invest in. So simply put, this Override has to pass.


Katie Paulsen

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