Londonderry School Budget (Article 2) Fund Allocation for Instructional Assistants
On Friday, February 6th,at the Londonderry School Board’s deliberative session, a motion was filed and passed to amend article 2 to increase our district’s operating budget by $240,000 for the purpose of funding instructional assistants for 3 hours/day/classroom at the elementary level (to note: the instructional assistants were proposed to be eliminated entirely next year at the elementary level with the exception of those who work in classrooms as a result of a child’s Individualized Education Program).The tax impact for this increase for the average-priced house in Londonderry ($277,000) is 4 cents/thousand more than what we currently pay or $11/year.It would allow our elementary schools to have instructional assistants working alongside teachers, supporting all children in our elementary classrooms-struggling learners, children who are proficient but need added support to continue their growth in learning as well as children who are advanced and who can be challenged beyond typical grade level expectations.
The elimination of the instructional assistants has a significant impact on student learning, our schools and on the long term outcomes connected to our community; it has an impact on the extent to which children will learn what is necessary to be college and career ready;it will impact future elementary budgets in the way of remediation and behavioral intervention costs;there will be a cost to future middle and high school budgets in the way of remediation as we try to close achievement gaps because we didn’t build a strong enough foundation in the elementary years;it will have a cost for our elementary principals and teachers who will be working to achieve more with less; and it will have an impact on the Londonderry community in that a quality education effects the economy, real estate values and the pride that comes with knowing that we played a small role in the future success of our youngest residents by supporting our town’s education system.
Londonderry has long prided itself on its high quality education but there are only so many holes that can be poked in the fabric of our education system before the quality of the fabric begins to weaken;eventually the fabric will rip.Over the years, we have weakened the fabric and now,we are dangerously close to ripping it with these types of cuts. Quality comes at a price but for a small amount of money, we have the opportunity to win back an important element in the quality of the education that we deliver to the children of this community, our instructional assistants.The research is unequivocally clear…children who aren’t proficient by the elementary years are far more likely to struggle throughout their educational journey towards college and career readiness and there is a price to pay for this struggle – a price on so many levels.
In signing this statement, I urge the school board and the superintendent to allocate the monies to the elementary instructional assistants.
Please vote with us on Tuesday, March 10th in favor of the amended budget and send the message that we think our youngest citizens are worth every penny!