It is probably statistically accurate to say that the largest expense in any municipal budget goes to its school system. On Block Island, about $5 million is allocated to its one school, more than a third of the roughly $12 million it takes to run the town each year.
Arguably, our schools also perform the most important function in any given town. A young person’s experiences will help shape the adults they become, and, therefore, having a thriving, healthy, modern and working school system is one of the most important hubs a town or city can have.
What guides the school system, in part, is the local School Committee, and this year the town of New Shoreham is in the unhappy position of having two open seats — elected positions — that are without any declared candidates to fill those seats.
We hope that the sorry condition of our national political atmosphere hasn’t trickled down to the local level, but perhaps it has. Even so, we hope that there are a few adventurous souls out there who will dive into the conversation and throw their proverbial hats into the ring and declare themselves a write-in candidate for the school committee.
There are also candidates needed for Town Moderator and Assistant Moderator, both of which help keep the annual Financial Town Meeting running smoothly. Block Island is famous for its civic-minded residents, and we hope there are at least a few who will fill these important community roles.