To the Editor:
This year, our district's education budget was unanimously approved by our bipartisan Board of Education. It was widely praised as a “responsible” budget. Nevertheless, the Board of Finance recently voted to make $135,000 in cuts as well as remove another $40,000 from the budget. These cuts are misguided. Just as importantly, they're unnecessary. The city has no shortfall—in fact, property taxes are decreasing this year. In such a context, making cuts that will adversely affect students, hurt our energy-savings program, and create a future deficit seems the definition of "false economy."
• The first cut took Energy Savings allocations from $100K to $50K. If you're unfamiliar with the tremendous success our district has had with energy savings you should know that over the last five years, our district invested in a comprehensive energy audit and conservation program that yielded over $1.25 million in net savings based on energy cost avoidance estimates. This program also reduced greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 6,407 metric tons of CO2, the equivalent environmental impact of removing 1,335 automobiles for an entire year.