We think it’s commendable that Ithaca values education more highly than just about any other community. We agree that the Ithaca school system is one of the best in the country and benefits from outstanding leadership. We also recognize that as a country we fail to value and invest in education to the extent that many other countries with better achieving schools do.
Having said all that, however, and in looking at the proposed budget increase being requested by the ICSD, we are deeply disappointed that the district fails to take into consideration the economic pain felt by Ithacans as a result of the Coronavirus lockdown. With many Ithacans hurting as a result of seeing their incomes and their savings being so deeply eroded, we urge people to vote no on the school district budget as proposed.
Now is not the time for business as usual, especially with all the uncertainty we still face in the coming months. This goes not only for the school district but also for any of our other taxing authorities locally and in New York State. Yes, we need to reorder our priorities going forward, re-invest in the public good, and tax wealth in ways we haven’t in the past, and let us hope that our national political climate after the coming national election will finally reflect those sentiments.
In the meantime, this is the year we all need to take a breath in New York state, the place from which so many people, especially young people, have been unfortunately but understandably fleeing because of issues of basic affordability.
Bill & Sarah Demo