Every tax is a pay cut. Every tax cut is a pay raise.
Citizens for Limited Taxation
|Why should taxpayers foot bill for Juniper Hill?||Thursday, July 1, 2004|
|Charles Brody (Framingham)||Framingham Tab|
The Juniper Hill School was closed last year reluctantly by the School
Committee because of a lack of operating funds. They now lease the
building to the Metro West Jewish Day School, Project Accept and an early
intervention program. The total amount of revenue that the district
receives is about half of the district's cost of running the building.
The school district has a custodian that receives salary and benefits,
they pay heat and utilities, they provide snow removal , maintenance and
bus transportation. Why is it good public policy for the
Framingham Public Schools to be subsidizing the operation of this facility?
The committee and superintendent maintain that it is important to have someone occupy the building to reduce the chance of vandalism and to circumvent having to bring the building to full compliance of the building codes should they decide to reopen the school. While I agree that it is important to have somebody use the building, I think that most people would agree that the lease amount of the building should support the expenses. The building is now 45 years old, a new roof will be needed soon and I doubt very much that the district would ever open the school again without some major renovation project. Should the town of Framingham and the state of Massachusetts make the $800,000 investment in a new roof for the partially used "private school"?
The MWJDS is slated to expand their operations next year and their lease amount will increase slightly. Even with the increased amount the district will still lose money on the facility. This comes at a time when the district is charging for buses, sports, parking and full-day kindergarten, which is something that the committee resisted for many years. There is no doubt that the MWJDS is a fine program, my question is, why should the taxpayers of Framingham have to pay for it?
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