Vote for School Choice

Subject: SIGN THIS PETITION and Urge School Board Members to Vote for School Choice: Wednesday, June 4 @ 6:30PM We are sending this petition to as many people as we can in Raymond with the hope you will take five minutes to better understand the issue of School Choice, which will be voted on by the Raymond School Board this Wednesday, June 4 at 6:30 PM. It is an important issue that affects everyone in town, regardless of whether or not you have children in the school system. PLEASE RETAIN OUR SCHOOL CHOICE for four simple, but compelling reasons: 1. School choice is good for our kids. The high schools in our area have various strengths and abilities. While many kids can do just fine in any school, there are some important difference between schools for those who need a specific need fulfilled. The ability to match a child\'s needs with a school\'s strengths and its value should not be underestimated. In Raymond, we get the ability to choose the right high school much in the same way we get to choose the right college! 2. School choice is good for maintaining our property values. I have spoken to a number of real estate agents in the area, and most agree that the school choice option is viewed as a tangible - and valuable - asset by many who consider moving to Raymond. The overall appeal of Raymond schools, which has always commanded a premium, will be somewhat diluted with our impending merger with the Windham school system. School choice provides a tangible differentiator between ourselves and neighboring communities, and can be an important selection criteria in choosing a house in Raymond over a house in a surrounding community. I know it was for us! 3. There is no incremental cost to you for School Choice. At last Wednesday\'s Annual Town Meeting, the tuition cap was adopted. This means that the cost to the Town of Raymond of sending a child to Windham High School, another public high school, or a private high school will be exactly the same. Any incremental cost will be paid for by the student. 4. If school choice is voted away, we can never get it back. In the laws that the state legislature has passed to consolidate school systems, it has worked to ensure the preservation of school choice for those communities who wish to maintain choice. Communities that are consolidating cannot force the dissolution of Choice. It is understandable that Windham would selfishly want to do away with Raymond\'s school choice, but they cannot force it. Given our commitment to provide students to Windham as part of their gaining approval for their new high school building, and our very high local community per pupil support (due to lower state funding based on our grand list), we are a very attractive consolidation partner for Windham. Doing away with school choice will mean that we give away a valuable asset without getting anything back in return! Add these four factors together and ask yourself, "Why would we, the Town of Raymond, want to get rid of School Choice" One comment on private school choice: Since the Tuition Cap ensures that the cost of attending a private school costs the town exactly the same amount as attending a public school - any incremental expenses are borne by that student - this seems like a fair solution that treats all students equitably. It is a fallacy to believe that most of the students attending private school could do so on their own without Town support - that is simply not true. Private schools add a wide variety of options for choosing a school to fit a particular students\' needs. It also raises the attractiveness of Raymond to possible homeowners. TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE! We would appreciate your signature and sharing this petition with as many people as you know, and We urge you contact School Board members, either via email, by phone, or optimally, by showing up on Wednesday, June 4th at 6:30 PM to show your support for School Choice. A few minutes of your time can truly affect the outcome of the School Board vote. Your signature below will help us communicate to the board how the Raymond community (their constituents) truly feel about this valuable issue!

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Concerned parents of Raymond students.

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