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Hillsboro-Deering budget cuts make state Teacher of the Year consider sending her child elsewhere for school

  • Hillsboro-Deering High School music teacher Heidi Welch is named New Hampshire Teacher of the Year during an assembly at the school; Monday, October 1, 2012.<br/><br/>( Alexander Cohn/ Monitor staff)

    Hillsboro-Deering High School music teacher Heidi Welch is named New Hampshire Teacher of the Year during an assembly at the school; Monday, October 1, 2012.

    ( Alexander Cohn/ Monitor staff)

  • Hillsboro-Deering High School music teacher Heidi Welch is named New Hampshire Teacher of the Year during an assembly at the school; Monday, October 1, 2012.<br/><br/>( Alexander Cohn/ Monitor staff)

    Hillsboro-Deering High School music teacher Heidi Welch is named New Hampshire Teacher of the Year during an assembly at the school; Monday, October 1, 2012.

    ( Alexander Cohn/ Monitor staff)

  • Hillsboro-Deering High School music teacher Heidi Welch is named New Hampshire Teacher of the Year during an assembly at the school; Monday, October 1, 2012.<br/><br/>( Alexander Cohn/ Monitor staff)
  • Hillsboro-Deering High School music teacher Heidi Welch is named New Hampshire Teacher of the Year during an assembly at the school; Monday, October 1, 2012.<br/><br/>( Alexander Cohn/ Monitor staff)

Noah Welch is 3 years old, and a good part of his world revolves around the Hillsboro-Deering School District.

His dad, Randy Welch, used to be a school board member and a school psychologist at Hillsboro-Deering High School, where Noah’s two sisters attend. And his mom, Heidi Welch, is the school music teacher, New Hampshire’s Teacher of the Year and now one of four contestants for National Teacher of the Year.

Until last Tuesday, Noah’s parents assumed he would attend the local school district, too. Now, the idea that he might not is on the table, though it’s an idea that causes Heidi Welch to cringe.

After hearing that night that district voters approved a budget $1 million less than administrators requested, Randy posted on Facebook that the question of where to raise Noah is now open. Heidi, one of Hillsboro-Deering’s loudest, most indefatigable cheerleaders, still has hope.

“I firmly believe that if you are a teacher in a district, you should believe in the district enough to bring your kids here,” Welch said Thursday at her home. “I believe in Hillsboro-Deering. I believe in it with a million-dollar cut, I believe in what the teachers can do for our kids. But with a million-dollar cut, if we start losing some of the best teachers, some of these teachers who make the district what it is, than that belief starts to go. They’ve got three years, before we say, ‘hmm, where do we really want him to go to school?’ ”

It would take a pink slip or a severe budget cut to the music department for Heidi to leave her post, she said, but Randy Welch has set a much lower bar for what would motivate him to look for other educational opportunities for Noah.

“We’re always the first to defend the school district,” Randy said. “We love the school district and we’ve never even really seriously considered leaving the town. But cuts are one thing. Default budgets are one thing, but when you cut $1 million out of a $20 million school budget – if this is what our town is going to do, I don’t know that I have the same faith in the town that I did when we were raising our first two kids.”

(Sarah Palermo can be reached at 369-3322 or
spalermo@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @SPalermoNews.)

Legacy Comments6

Just because administrators say the budget that passed is a cut doesn't make it so. The passed budget is actually $500,000 more than what was spent last year and that was after the Board went on a June spending spree dropping a couple of hundred thousand on extras because they had a surplus. Just keeping spending in line with last years and not splurging in June will allow the mandated increases (pension, insurance, etc - about $700,000) to be paid without any layoffs.

If they cut the music department, she could educate her own children.

Meanwhile, here are the combined local and state education tax rates: Deering $16.46, Hillsboro $16.83, New Castle $3.11 (highest per capita income town in NH). http://www.revenue.nh.gov/munc_prop/property-tax-rates-related-data/2012/documents/2012TaxRateReport.pdf

We all know what the tax rates are in poor towns and wealthy towns earthling. And we know why the rates are what they are. They are based on property values, incomes, and costs per student. The cost per student is never discussed about poor towns. Nor is the fact those poor towns have a lot of poverty, some of it generational. Your arguments that rich towns should go above and beyond and not only pay taxes to their own towns, but subsidize poor towns is the same argument used for entitlement programs. Share the wealth! You seem to forget what happens when towns start the decline. Folks who want a better life move and try to find work elsewhere. Those that stay depend on more entitlements. Again, those are choices. But then again, Libs equate poverty with bad luck.

Now there is an interesting article. A teacher of the year that feels that "good" teachers really do make the difference. Higher pay buys better teachers. Normally we hear the teachers saying the "home-life" or lack thereof is the biggest problem. This family made up of two "educators" certainly should be able to give their child that home support but here agreeing that only more money for teachers is the driving force. Will they be promoting reductions by seniority dates or by past performance, after all, it’s all for the kids???

Money...meet mouth.

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