I enthusiastically support Kate Colburn for School Committee. Her excellent qualifications and relevant professional and volunteer experience have been described in great detail in these pages recently. I believe decisive action from our School Committee is urgently required, and Kate is exceptionally prepared and uniquely capable of being the catalyst for progress that Lexington’s schools desperately need.
Our School Committee has spent many volunteer hours and taxpayer dollars assessing and considering our school district’s challenges. There have been numerous committees, discussions and surveys. Consultants have provided copious studies, analyses, and reports at great expense. The primary issue is abundantly clear: school overcrowding compromises the delivery of our academic program, and the funding required to resolve that is in short supply.
What has not followed all the fact-finding and deliberation is a sense of meaningful progress toward resolution. Projections indicate a shortfall of 22 elementary classrooms in three years, even with the new Hastings hopefully opening in 2019-2020. Overcrowding trickles up – projections for the middle and high schools are similarly alarming.
It is incumbent upon our School Committee to anticipate our schools’ and students’ needs, and prepare to meet those needs in a timely manner. Even if a capital project that solves our crowding issues were coming before the voters this year, that solution wouldn’t come on line for at least four years. Without any such plan up for vote, overcrowding will be a fact in Lexington for the near future.
There is no more time to wait. We need Kate on our School Committee. She has prudent capital planning experience and deep knowledge of the challenges at hand. With her collaborative, inclusive work style, she’s ready to join School Committee and start building consensus toward workable solutions. Please join me: vote for Kate Colburn for School Committee on March 6th.