Letter from Craig Vickers


Why I resigned from the School Board in 2022:

I’ve yet to actually address to anyone why I elected to resign from the FMRSD school board in July of 2022.
There was not just one reason, there were many. The biggest reason was the amount of time that I was
spending, and that all board members spend. As board chair that exponentially increased. I joined because I
thought I could make a difference to represent Walpole and to parse through the differences between our
communities; to help unite. It became clear to me that “Equity” had a very different meaning or definition to
some members of the board than the actual definition.

When I joined the board I assumed that I would be able to have open and direct conversations with the public
about all issues that arise, and to work through these based on open and creative dialogue. This assumption
was very quickly shut down, to the point where you were discouraged from having any conversations about
school related business outside of board meetings because of the fact that your discussions could be
misrepresented as “board opinion”.

Early on in my tenure on the board I had made up my mind that individual towns needed to somehow regain
control of their individual budgets, to make decisions unilaterally for their town, as best they saw fit. I was
told by administration and representative attorneys that was not possible due to the legal structure of a
cooperative district. This presented a problem, and will continue to present a problem.

The real rub here is that I was not allowed to discuss this with anybody outside of the board or
administration. It’s a stay in your lane, abide by the rules, and don’t disrupt the “unity”. “We’re 5 towns one
mission”. That last statement is a fallacy in my opinion.

I had no choice but to resign because my view of the structure of the district had come to a head and I knew
that the only representation in good conscience that I could make would be for the benefit of Walpole and
Walpole’s students. If you’re going to spend exorbitant amounts of time on something, that stresses your
business and your marriage out, you better believe in it. I don’t believe FMRSD should be a cooperative
district at the Prek-8level. I strongly disagree with this in fact. Being on that board would have been

“Equity” has become a buzzword in the educational realm, and it is being unjustly used. The term equity is
now a judgement and to gaslight towns that wish to invest above the defined adequate and equitable
standards. We’re told it is not “equitable” for Walpole to invest in an additional teacher above and beyond the
standardized district structure because that is not equitable for the other towns. People actually start
believing this, ergo the gaslighting. Let me be very clear, if Walpole INVESTS above and beyond the equitable
standards set by the state and federal government, Walpole is NOT perpetrating inequitability on the other
towns, they are making an investment in their own town, school, and students. Investment above and beyond
the equity bar is not something to be looked down on, and the results of these investments are shown in data
over and over and over again

There are changes that need to be considered including, and most importantly, consolidating schools.
Consolidation is the only clear way that we are going to be able to address the burgeoning educational costs.
Cutting a teaching position has such a ridiculously small impact on the overall budget, but a substantial impact
on educational opportunity. This is not a balanced proposition. Cutting staff was a hail mary by the budget
committee to say, “hey look, we did something”, something that none of the administrators wanted to do.
School consolidation would save so much more money and likely allow the hiring of MORE staff and teachers
to bring down the student/teacher ratio even more.

There was an error in the budget that has left Walpole with additional funds which would allow us to keep a
teacher that nobody wanted to cut in the first place. This isn’t about one teacher, this is a significant issue of
control. We don’t have any control as a town and the board made that abundantly clear on Monday night. I
urge Walpole residents and frankly residents of each five towns to watch the end of the meeting.
(https://youtu.be/CFqkBmtIsBM?t=7545) *I’ve marked the start of the conversation here.

The dismissiveness of the members of the community that attended this meeting is appalling. The inferences
made about the march vote obtuse, and the generally disrespectful tone, concerning, if we value our voices as
voting citizens.

One board member stated (I’m paraphrasing) the voting outcome of the budget was declared to be a clear
representation that Walpole is in favor of the cuts being made. There is no way to know that voting members
of the public, outside of those that have ties to the school had any idea what they were voting on. What they
did see is that the school board, and the budget committee recommended a YES vote. I’m not sure that there
has ever been a warrant article voted down, when the board had recommended it. This is a manipulative

The voting results for the petition article that I had out there was also called into the mix as a failure, but there
was essentially zero context to that as well. No grassroots campaigning was done, because the outcome had
no bearing. This was a litmus test to see how many Walpole residents would vote for a withdrawal study
based on no knowledge of why. Nearly one quarter of Walpole residents that voted, voted for a withdrawal
study with absolutely zero input as to why. Pretty telling if you ask me.

For some context here: The Charlestown withdrawal study and petition to withdraw was all predicated on
saving money (false narrative) and there were two YEARS of grassroots effort put into that. Two years of
convincing people why and that was voted down by nearly 2/3.

I have no doubt in my mind that when Walpole voters see the numbers that I have been looking at for the last
5 years that they will strongly consider Walpole withdrawing from the Fall Mountain district and tuitioning
their students likely to FM (possibly others) to adopt full control of their Pre-K through 8 Budget. There are
many options for us from a HS perspective, but a proper study is needed.

What is happening to Walpole right now is suppression of opportunity born out of investment, in the falsified
name of “Equity” by people outside of Walpole. Take the photo below. In the Equity picture, if any one of those
people elected to invest in another box, or hey even a ladder or even a man-lift and the other two said no,
you’re not allowed, that isn’t equitable, that would be an inaccurate statement. It isn’t as if there is a scarcity
of “apples” in the context we’re having this conversation.

There is a selectboard meeting tonight in Walpole at 6:30 and I will be there along with some other members
of the community to discuss a proper withdrawal study which needs to start at the town level, not as a
petitioned school article. There will be a grassroots effort to educate ALL Walpoleans through this effort and
when that vote happens, we’ll be able to assess what the voters of Walpole actually think. Please join, it will
make a difference.

I want to create a school culture where we celebrate the investment in our students education and our
community and to STOP fighting. Over 50 years of fighting in the Fall Mountain District needs to come to an

Craig Vickers

2 thoughts on “Letter from Craig Vickers

  1. brendanmhayeshotmailcom 04/13/2023 at 7:02 PM Reply

    Ok, bud. Sounds like you’re fabricating a lot of drama for someone who wants “to STOP fighting.”


  2. Beth Colley 04/14/2023 at 9:24 AM Reply

    Thank you, Craig, for presenting some of the tensions in the FMRSB. Can you please direct us to info/studies/discussions that compare the pros & cons of consolidated schools vs cooperative schools? As a relative newbie to NH and this school district, I’ve left the few FMRSB meetings I’ve attended feeling completely lost. Thank you for your time and efforts!


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