In response to the current budget crisis within the Groton-Dunstable Regional School District, we, along with a group of dedicated and committed residents from both towns, have organized under the name Advocates Promoting Educational Excellence (APEX) to support and work toward both short- and long-term solutions to improve public education in our district.

As Groton approaches two crucial events in determining the passage of the fiscal 2015 school budget, the special town election on April 1 and the annual Town Meeting on April 28, we urge the residents of Groton to take the necessary steps to ensure that no further reductions are made to our schools. Many cuts have already been absorbed in the current budget, including losing additional faculty, decreasing funding for school supplies and equipment, and reducing funds in the athletics program. As a result of these reductions and many additional cuts made over the past years, the current fiscal 2015 school budget is incredibly lean; further reductions would greatly diminish the quality of schools in this district.

The residents of Groton have always prided themselves on having an exceptional school system. Along with such an exemplary district come many benefits to the town, including higher property values, successful local businesses and new economic development. If the School Committee is forced to make additional cuts to the budget, such a school system will no longer exist in Groton. The list of further reductions includes the elimination of arts and music in both the middle and high schools, the closing of Swallow Union Elementary School, the elimination of the athletics program at the high school, further reductions to faculty resulting in larger class sizes, and the elimination of foreign language classes at the middle school.

We must now work together not only to protect our schools, but also to save our town from the ramifications of a failed school system. We urge all registered voters to attend and vote at the following events, and voice your support for the continued success of Groton:

* April 1 special town election: Vote "yes" in favor of the debt exclusion on the new fire house so an additional $450,000 of funds are made available to the town

* April 28 annual Town Meeting: Vote "yes" to pass the fiscal 2015 town and school budget

Please get out and vote in support of our town and our schools -- the success of both truly go hand in hand.

For further information about APEX and important upcoming meetings and volunteer opportunities, please visit our website at www.4rgdrsdkids.org

Amy Kelly & Brian DiGiovanni

Co-Chairs of APEX