We were disappointed to read the article, “Burr and Burton filings raise questions about endowment, special education.” The article insinuates financial wrongdoing when there is none. We are perplexed. For those of you who read the article, here is a brief, simple explanation.
Endowment: Is Burr and Burton using endowment funds for operations? A resounding yes. We use the endowment to fund programs and expenses. At the same time, we are supplementing revenues through fundraising and our international program that also contribute to the fiscal health of the school. Burr and Burton carefully follows its spending policies, consistent with the various fund intentions and restrictions. The fact that we were able to do this while continuing to grow the endowment is a testament to our strength, not a cause for accusation.
Special education: The article insinuates some wrongdoing on special education; this is as absurd as the first allegation. Burr and Burton’s special education rates are approved by the state, each student’s services are approved by the appropriate supervisory union, and we then provide those services. Note that nothing happens without full approval of state and local authorities. In addition, the special education costs cited in the article do not include any allocation for the school’s administrative, staffing, maintenance, depreciation, and other infrastructure costs, all of which contribute to the success of our special services department.
Burr & Burton Academy makes a tremendous effort to raise funds through major donors, events, the annual fund and endowment in order to provide a superb education for our students at an affordable rate for our communities. To state that our efforts “raise questions” is unfortunate. We hope future articles focus on our extraordinary student achievements, faculty members, programs, and our remarkable 180-year relationship with our sending towns.
SETH B. BONGARTZ
(MARK H. TASHJIAN
Burr and Burton Academy)