It's obvious that there are several folks on here who are vehemently against the override. I know I'm not likely to be able to change your minds, and I respect your opinions, but I do want to offer a few factual observations that you may not be aware of:
1. We have high school students who take turns standing in class because they don't all fit in the classroom. This is not an exaggeration. This is what happens every day.
2. Substitute teachers in Melrose are paid less than state minimum wage (apparently there's an exemption that allows them to do this). Significantly less than the pizza delivery guy. When more than one teacher is out, multiple classes are herded together into the cafeteria, because the school can't afford to pay multiple subs (even at that less than minimum wage rate).
3. Things you might think of as part of the school system (like textbooks) are typically paid for by the PTOs that run entirely on donations. All extraneous expenses were cut years ago.
4. Melrose per-student funding is close to the lowest in the state. You might have a picture in your head of coddled suburban kids in Melrose compared with gritty underfunded disasters in the inner city. And that may have been an accurate picture at some point in the past. But not anymore.
In the last decade, the schools have gone from a frugal operation to desperate creativity to a mess in which the good teachers move out midyear (to anywhere... Malden, Saugus, Reading, Stoneham... they all pay more).
The situation feels like it verges on criminal negligence.
You can argue that we must have a poorly designed political system in order to let things get this way. And you're probably right.
But I'd appreciate it if you'd help us fix it. Or at last prevent it from getting worse.
Fixing problems in our community is something we can all feel good about.
Children taking turns standing in a classroom? That's interesting in the fact that no one has brought this up in any community debate....
Substitute teachers making below state minimum wage? Not going to say much about this because there is little information available to confirm.
Textbooks are not extraneous expenses.
Per pupil spending is indeed low, but student outcomes are much better than districts spending more.
Teacher retention rate is about 85% which is good by any standard. The taxpayer well is only so deep. Throwing money at a situation very seldom improves the outcome
Standing in class: Source: Actual highschool students.
Substitute teachers making below minimum wage: In Melrose, substitute teachers currently get paid $60 per day for a 6 hour work day with an unpaid 30 minute lunch. This is below Massachusetts state minimum wage (but not below federal minimum wage).
Textbooks: I totally agree with you. Textbooks are not extraneous expenses. It's appalling that we have to rely on donations to fund basic educational materials. This is already the case. The "non-override budget" says "reduce curriculum materials by [an additional] 20%" (see https://www.melroseschools.com/sites/melrosemaps/files/uploads/budget_presentation_3_12_19.pdf )
Teacher retention rate: *All* of our neighboring cities have better retention rates (Saugus, Stoneham, Malden, Wakefield, ...). If we had the state average retention rate, there would be 52 teachers since 2012 that would not have left -- that's enough to staff two of our elementary schools.
I agree that "throwing money at a situation" is not often a great answer, but this is not at all about throwing money at something -- it's about meeting a bare minimum to keep our heads above water.
I consider myself a fiscal conservative, but part of that belief is that we should make smart decisions with our money, not strangle things to the point at which you're just servicing your debt.
I noticed you mentioned the low pay of the substitute teachers. It's true. They make $60/day which is because they can be paid the federal min wage. It's appalling.
More appalling is the fact that the override does NOT address substitute pay. Nothing about subs are mentioned in the override text.
I found this out from a Facebook post made by a woman who subbed in Melrose for 8 years. She asked about the pay and was told by an official city source that subs were NOT in the override
The Override isn't going to help the subs. Vote NO.
Two of my children go to the high school and they said no one stands in class.
Howdy Neighbor! Me again. Melrose and the low per pupil expenditure issue. Winchester override proponents were saying that too. Apparently they are low spenders as well. Seems to be an override talking point.
I would like to see the school budget up close. What are you counting for per pupil costs? What should you be counting? You can make per pupil expenditure look artificially low depending upon what use to create the average expenditure.
Melrose brings in the same amount of taxes as other communities. Why is the per pupil spending so low? Where is are the Tax revenues that we currently get going?
Howdy Neighbor! Teacher retention. Has anyone done a sincere exit interview with the departing staff?
People are more likely to say money than they hate the administration so you'd probably get something for your argument if asked.
Do they really leave for money? Or it is something else? Better find out before you take over 5 million dollars from the Tax payers.
You said that what the poster said isn’t true = calling the poster a liar. Nice try though.
I’m not weary of the dialogue here. I’m sick of the unoriginal, hypocritical, condescending, inaccurate junk spewed by one poster in particular - you.
My dad told me I should see this.
For the standing thing:
Maybe part of it is that there are some classes where they on purpose let you stand if you want to, as another option.
But yes, some of those classes legit don't have enough room.
But it's not like this is a mystery or anything. Everybody knows it, so I don't see what the argument is about.
For teacher pay: I have no idea what teachers get paid.
For classes being mixed together as a big group when there aren't enough subs: yes, happens all the time. Again, not a mystery, everybody knows it.
Oh, and, can I just say
This website is weird. It's a bunch of adults acting like middle schoolers who just got phones for the first time.
Maybe we can give you some classes on Respectful Social Media Dialog.
OPs implication that the travesty that is the substitutes pay would be fixed by the override is incorrect. There is nothing in the override to fix it.
If students are standing in classrooms, what exactly is in the override to fix this? Specifically what is the exact plan? More money is not an exact plan. Something like dividing up the 11th college prep history class into 2 classes with 2 teachers is a plan. See the difference?
The one Melrose campaign was paid for by donations. The election was paid for by the city.
Seriously, that's what you have to say, "word"?
C`mon, grow up.