GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

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June 8, 2013

Letter: Schools at least need 'level service funding'

To the editor:

Level service and level funding are two terms that only get mentioned this time of year when the city is going through the budget process.

For families, level service would mean paying for your housing, utilities, food, clothing, transportation insurance, loan payments, and all the other things you find necessary to survive so the quality of your life doesn’t necessarily get any better, but doesn’t get any worse.

For schools and city government, level service would mean having the necessary staff to provide the same services, available during the same hours and days, of the same effectiveness and efficiency, paying for building and road maintenance, insurance, utilities, equipment replacement, loan payments, and all the other things that are necessary. Some families have disposable income and are able to go on vacations, send their children to summer camp, go to concerts and movies, attend professional sport games, or all the other things that improve the quality of life.

Some school systems have revenue beyond basic support and are able to have the latest technology in their classrooms, librarians in their libraries, tutoring for students in need and programs that challenge exceptional students, adequate time for teachers to collaborate, and sufficient administrators to guide and evaluate staff, and all the other things that will improve student achievement and better prepare our children to succeed in an ever increasingly competitive world.

Costs of almost everything goes up one year to the next. If a family is level funded and receives no additional income one year to the next, they have to cut back on their disposable income expenditures until they are gone then start cutting back on what they thought to be necessary. If a city department is level funded, it has no choice than to cut back on the service that they provide.

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