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October 20th, 2014

Tax Dollars Not Used to Influence Montpelier School Vote

 

Editor:

I am writing to respond to a letter that ran in the April 16 edition of your newspaper. The letter claimed that Montpelier Public Schools took out a $900 ad in The Bridge “to try to influence the outcome of the re-vote” on the school budget. This is not true. At no time did we use taxpayer dollars to advocate for passage of the school budget.

The purpose of the Montpelier Public Schools page in The Bridge is to recognize excellence and celebrate success in our schools. We are proud of our students’ active involvement in the wider community and we are proud of their many accomplishments. Our page in the newspaper shows taxpayers the return on their investment in our schools.

In an e-mail from Nat Frothingham, editor and publisher at The Bridge, he states: “For the past several years, Montpelier Public Schools have used The Bridge to communicate with Montpelier residents. In a typical year, Montpelier Public Schools pay for a School Page in The Bridge about six times a year… A typical School Page in The Bridge tells Montpelier residents about learning activities in the elementary, middle and high schools. Or a School Page can let residents know about new teachers or administrators who are teaching or responsible for programs at the various schools. Sometimes a School Page will recognize citizen-volunteers who give of their time, skill and knowledge to students in Montpelier schools. Toward the end of the school year, a School Page will typically provide a list of he graduating senior class along with a note about where students are going to college, or whether they are taking up an apprenticeship, or whether they are furthering their education with a career in the military services. These School Pages provide information, not advocacy. In no circumstance does a School Page influence how anyone might vote.”

Normally, I do not respond to letters to the editor. However, in this case a letter alleged mishandling of public funds, and that is simply untrue. As a result, it was necessary to set the record straight and confirm that Montpelier Public Schools always use our resources with integrity to educate our community’s children.

 

Dr. Brian G. Ricca, Superintendent of Schools

Montpelier Public Schools

 

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