Data security vital

Headline

Brief thoughts on some of the events making news from around Franklin County and the North Quabbin area:

Dateline Greenfield: Banking on an increase in state aid, the Greenfield School Committee has signed off on a $17.1 million draft budget that includes a hefty 8.5 percent increase over last year.

Part of that rise is due to the state’s decision to cut some $400,000 in aid for special education funding.

Ironically, the new budget is dependent on additional state aid ... a $1.34 million increase in Chapter 70 aid — the major program of state aid for towns to help pay for public elementary and secondary schools.

It’s an odd way to work, but the mixed signals from the state, coupled with a growing district, make the increase necessary.

Nonetheless, to be on the safe side, Superintendent Susan Hollins has been instructed to prepare alternate budgets in case there is less revenue available than planned.

That makes sense to us ... at least as much sense as is possible in the current atmosphere of change and uncertainty. Dateline Orange: The Town of Orange got a second wake-up call the other day about making sure its computers are protected against hackers and viruses. This time, officials are vowing to spend the money and take the time necessary to make sure vital data is secure. It’s a good decision, one that other towns should imitate. Taxpayers should be able to depend on towns to protect them against identity theft and in this day and age there’s no excuse for sloth in this area.

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