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letter | fiscal considerations for the bay state

School funding priorities are misplaced

My heart sank when I read “Patrick targets local aid to help cover budget gap” (Metro, Dec. 5), reporting further reductions in state funding of schools. My grandson had just come home from kindergarten, sadly reporting that he couldn’t take out a book during his class’s weekly library visit. There wasn’t anyone to check out the books.

That’s because, as a result of budget cuts, his school no longer has a library teacher. She has been replaced with volunteers. If no volunteer shows up, no books are checked out.

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At a time when children are not supposed to be left behind, when schools are being badgered to race to the top, when students are constantly “assessed” and tested (at no small expense), funding for schools is continually cut.

How are children supposed to get invested in learning to read when they can’t even check out a book from their school library?

And then, if my grandson fails to pass reading tests, his teachers will be punished, not the political officials and supposed education experts who are taking schools down this dangerous route.

Lani Gerson

Watertown

The writer is a retired librarian in the Newton Public Schools.

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