Letter: Stockbridge voters do what's best for all
The Stockbridge Town Meeting voted to adopt a school funding formula which will raise their taxes in order to bring tax relief to Great Barrington. Wow! And, thank you. I hope my fellow Great Barrington residents appreciate how remarkable and generous a move that is.
The school funding debate hasn't always been civil among the three towns. I agree with those in Great Barrington who have said the school funding formula hasn't been fair. Good schools bring benefits to a town beyond just educating children, benefits like a prepared workforce and higher property values to name a few, and those benefits aren't easily divided on a per pupil basis.
On the other hand, Stockbridge taxpayers have a good point: if one town houses 70 percent of the district students and another only 15 percent, should they really be expected to contribute to the budget equally? If Pittsfield were part of our school district, would Great Barrington taxpayers really want to ignore the number of students sent by each
What the three towns have done, through the hard work of the Regional Agreement Amendment Committee, is come up with a compromise that recognizes both arguments. All three towns had to approve this change in the funding formula. That was an easy thing for Great Barrington voters since it would save us money, and not too difficult for West Stockbridge which will see
little change. But it took courage, integrity and generosity on the part of Stockbridge.
Again, thank you Stockbridge. Thank you for considering the interests of all children and of the
greater community. Thank you for not making a decision based solely on saving your own taxpayers money.
On Monday night, Stockbridge didn't say "What's best for us?" You said, "What's best for ALL OF US?" How rare is that today?
The writer is a Great Barrington selectman.
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