March 14, 2012

Dolan defends Board of Ed on lacrosse funding

For this story, I asked Board of Education members for their thoughts. I got this one, from Genard Dolan, after deadline. It still warrants interest, so here it is, in its entirety:

I thought that it was a very interesting exchange.  In fact the Board of Ed did include lacrosse in its budget for 2012-2013 even knowing that our entire budget would likely be cut. The mayor's comments regarding his side of the budget implied that he placed a higher priority on city services than the education of our children.  If anyone believes that football, baseball, soccer or lacrosse doesn't contribute to the educational experience of a scholastic career, they are grossly misinformed.  I don't believe that the mayor truly listened to the lacrosse advocates.
One concern that I have is that we will not be competitive with our surrounding towns. Bristol is a sports minded community.  We are, after all,  the home to ESPN.
I believe that the appearance of the lacrosse people were there to make the community aware of their desire to make lacrosse a varsity sport to be on a parity with our neighbors and to promote a good standard of sportsmanship, morality and citizenship. They were drawing attention to their plight.
The last thing that I want is to create a controversy between the City Council and other departments
within the municipal structure and the Board of Education.  We all have our place in the community
and are necessary to create a cohesive and attractive place to raise our families.   So let's not undercut the value of education to the market value of a community.  A good reminder of that is not many of the employees of ESPN live in Bristol.  Ask the mayor why.

I speak for myself not the Board of Education.

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