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Concord Monitor – Opinion: Meeting the needs of every Concord student


Liz Boucher is a school board member for Concord School Board Zone B. This letter was read at the Concord School Board budget meeting on March 27.

As a first year board member, I reflect publicly on this budget process. Even more so as parent, I feel compelled to share a warning to the community. In the state of New Hampshire, public education is collapsing on all sides. With less and less state monies supporting our students, districts are left to pick up the mandated and forgotten costs that our student population increasingly requires: SPED, social services, and transportation.

School fortification and cyber security costs are nearly as frightening as the outcomes these costs seek to prevent. We need a grant writer to fund food, safety infrastructure, mental health support to our kids. Multiple home-to-school liaisons work to get children to school, fed, and clothed.

Staff seek out transportation gift cards so families can make it to an eye appointment for their child’s reading glasses or to a Riverbend intake appointment. Teachers become emergency foster parents. Parents and staff drive to the NH Food Bank to send kids home with food for the weekend. Parents and teachers pack pantries with food, clothing and toiletries.

Climbing right next to these needs are the lack of resources for students who need the challenge academically. What about starting foreign language earlier? What about math interventionists to assist teachers in challenging high-achieving students? Fewer kids in each classroom?

As a board, we are faced with tough challenges that we cannot address every year with the mandated financial constraints to keep a school open. This is a burden we must all carry. Ask how you can help your local school, your child’s school, donate time, food, clothes, giftcards and advocate at the state level for more funding to reduce the property tax burden.

We need to come together on these issues because we have a whole lot of work to do to meet the needs of every Concord student.



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