At one time, Arlington Public Schools were in trouble. Our buildings were old and dilapidated. Proposition 2½ had set a limit on the Town’s ability to raise revenues. This cap on the property tax, combined with a drastic decrease in State aid, led to massive cuts in our school budget. Teachers were laid off, and valuable programs disappeared.
Now, our schools have a great reputation. Arlington has become a destination for families with young children. While many people deserve credit for this transformation, Cindy Friedman was one of the first to tackle the issue. In 2001, as co-founder of SPOT (Schools are a Priority in Our Town), she helped put a ‘spotlight” on the needs of our schools, and organized parents to advocate for additional resources.
Cindy consistently stepped forward when educational programs were in jeopardy. She co-founded the Arlington Schools Foundation (ASF) now the Arlington Education Foundation and served as its vice president. During the 2002-2003 economic recession, our school budget had a $3 million deficit and teachers were laid off. In just two months, ASF raised $270,000 to rehire reading specialists. Over the next several years, ASF also funded a high school improvement plan as well as elementary enrichment programs.
To preserve school programs and town services, Cindy worked on campaigns to override Proposition 2½. She offered her home on Jason Street as headquarters and a place where dozens of volunteers came to make phone calls. She did the same when we needed to go to the voters for a debt exclusion to fund the rebuilding of our schools.
Cindy Friedman has a passion for education, a deep commitment to our town, lots of energy and a keen ability to think strategically. She has what it takes to be a great senator. Please give her your vote on June 27.
Barbara C. Goodman, former School Committee Member 1993-2005
Gwen Hooper, Founder and Former Director of Arlington Children Center 1971-2004