Letter: Concord should pass IB resolution
To the Concord City Council: Recently three towns in the Merrimack Valley School District passed resolutions at town meeting requesting that MV publish a full accounting of the costs and sources of revenue for the International Baccalaureate program in the MV annual report. This was done because the towns are hit with increasing school costs every year, and the IB program’s costs and sources of revenue are never published in the report and therefore difficult to establish.
One problem is that while the grant is one source of revenue, it only pays for one teacher/mentor and fees for consulting and membership fees to the IB organization. There is no specified accounting for the teachers’ class hours or the supplies used for the program.
The IB program has been largely funded with grants through the state Department of Education and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. That money is stimulus money and will dry up, leaving the cost to the towns, including Penacook.
IB has proven costly, with the ARRA grant for 2013-14 at $170,454. One estimate has the total cost of IB approaching $1 million for the five years since its introduction, and the program is expanding. Furthermore, IB is largely discretionary spending.
Since Penacook is part of the Merrimack Valley School District, and the tax rate in Penacook is already $3.15 higher than in Concord, due entirely to school costs, I urge you to pass a resolution similar to the resolution passed in Boscawen, Salisbury and Loudon. It is a simple request for a complete accounting of the costs and sources of revenue for the IB program, nothing more.