So in addition to ever-increasing Property Taxes, Trash fees (which are actually added taxes but cannot be claimed as such thanks to the manner--probably illegal--these fees were constructed by mayor), outlandish and unreasonable Water/Sewer bills, PTO dues, Athletic Fees, Music Fees, Photography Class Fees, Transcript Fees, E-Camp (during public school attendance days) fees of $300-500, Field Trip Fees (sometimes in excess of $1-3,000), and countless others, here is a sampling of what is "expected" by elementary school principals. What about the children whose families can't afford all of this? What about "normal" Melrose families who are struggling to pay for all of the "normally expected" fees now imposed on them? (They are supposed to suck it up, apparently, and stay silent or risk shunning and being embarrassed!)
"Public" School in Melrose!
And now they have the nerve to expect voter approval for an override (NOT a one-time expense, please note, since this new amount becomes the base ever-after!) for the superintendent's "growth budget" (euphemism) for which she will not even be required to use the funds (from year 2 onwards) and will just revert to the general fund (correctly labeled "slush fund"). But it's apparently okay for the School Committee to approve "a pot of money for the superintendent to give administrative raises" (which they did in fact do, $48,000, in June!)! NO on OVERRIDE!!!!
--from Principal Corduck at Hoover:
Supply List for Kindergarten:
6 large glue sticks
3 box of tissues
1 box of gallon or sandwich sized Ziploc Bags
1 single notebook (any kind or color)
One 2inch binder with clear cover
1 box of Crayola markers
1 box of Crayola crayons
1 box of Primary Size Beginner Pencils
1 package each of 3” by 5” and 5”by 8 white index cards
2 containers of (any brand like Lysol) disinfectant wipes
1 bag of Wet/Baby Wipes
Foam hand sanitizer or hand soap
2 rolls of paper towels
5 Write on Big Tab dividers, white
Supply list for First grade:
Sharpened pencils (Ticonderoga are great)
One pencil pouch, zipper-type with grommets (nylon)
Crayola Crayons & Colored Pencils (no more than 24 please)
Large Glue Sticks (Elmers are fantastic)!
1 Kids Scissors (Fiskars)
One 1 inch 3-ring binder (hard & durable binder please)
One 1 inch 3-ring WHITE binder (hard & durable binder please)
Two 1 subject Notebooks (poetry & science notebooks)
Two 2 pocket durable folders (plastic-coated)
One marble composition notebook, wide-ruled (response journal)
One set of durable headphones for use at the computer
**In addition to the list above please purchase 1 additional, 3 ring 1” binder (heavy duty/durable)
All OPTIONAL ITEMS:
Antibacterial Soap (small containers to put @ sink)
Hand sanitizer (small containers to put @ sink)
Clear top-loading sheet protectors
Clorox or Lysol wipes (these are amazing)!
Large and small Ziploc bags
Black Sharpie markers
Painters tape (large roll of any color)
Supply list for Second Grade: Need To Have...
One plastic travel soap case (see picture), filled with crayons
Two plastic-type Pocket Folders with Fasteners
Two durable (plastic-coated) pocket folders
sharpened Ticonderoga™ pencils
Blue retractable pen(s)
large glue sticks
One Spiral-bound, 1 subject notebook, wide-ruled
One Marble Composition notebook, wide-ruled
One pair of child’s scissors
One 1-inch 3-ring binder (White with clear pocket on front)
One set of durable headphones for use at the computer (please no earbud style)
One small, digital kitchen timer
Classroom Supplies - Nice To Have...
If your last name starts with A ~M
top-loading sheet protectors (Avery or Staples brand preferred)
If your last name starts with N~Z
markers, and/or colored pencils
and so it goes through the various grades
Naturally, the high school doesn't list anything for a supply list, that is until the first week of school typically, when supplies at Staples, etc., have run out and when parents are mega-stressed with a million different demands from the school system. The MHS principal has had requests made from parents to include this information in a timely manner, but thumbs her nose at such requests routinely, demonstrating the contempt for parents that is typical throughout the school administration, but especially at the high school.
Families have been paying for additional things like supplies for ages - I did the same thing, many, many years ago in a different town when I was in school. I am not sure why you make it into such a Melrose conspiracy - sadly, it is a way of life in these underfunded school systems. However, if you can't afford any of things the schools cover for you - for example, the PTO will pay for ecamp. And you don't have to send in supplies. I have had friends who just couldn't afford it and so they didn't send them in, and it was really not an issue. I have sent in more supplies at various points throughout the school year to cover the classrooms. It is not that big a deal and it definitely not due to some financial mismanagement at Melrose - that is the way things are.
The schools actually do a nice job allowing students to donate supplies at the end of the year that can be recycled for families in need for the next year. So if anyone feels like they are lacking money to pay for supplies, they should call the school admin office who will help them.
It was nice when you were on vacation last week. The board was so much quieter. Which kind of proves the point of the single serial poster theory.
Not That Big a Deal.....to someone who is well-off financially, it's no big deal to purchase all these items on the list! However, not every child comes from a weathy family, believe it or not! Maybe if you have 3 or 4 kids you can afford to pay $120-$160..no problem. Of course, if you have kids in sports or music, this is another bag of cash needed. Sure, if you say the child doesn't bring these items in you say the PTO or others will supply them - that sounds great - now the kid really feels like a pauper! This is good for their personal esteem - right? What actually happens is- the parent goes in the hole to supply them and then money is not spent on items more importantly needed in the family. In the end, Not a Big Deal...it's important that you feel good about yourself knowing that you can afford to pay for all these items and knowing that the teachers will be grateful and - put you at the "head of the line".
It is only a big deal if you make it out to be. I know families that have quietly asked for assistance with all of the above and it has not been the end of the world for the families or the kids. If you want lower fees then fund the schools better. This is the way of all school districts, it is not new to Melrose.
Sure, lots of districts have supply lists. But unless you are 12, it was never standard practice for districts to have students bring in Lysol wipes, Sharpies, headphones, tissues, etc. (and for 1st & 2nd-graders, no less!). A pencil box/bag, crayons, maybe a couple of notebooks (and a couple of "Peechee" folders), okay. But demanding sanitary supplies, etc., would never have happened in any reputable district, since those things would have been naturally assumed to have been provided by the school system via local taxes. Here, schools have no compunction about demanding just about anything, with the presumption that all or most can pay easily. Even for those who can pay, it's just not right that a publicly funded school district thinks it's fine to demand all of this. Why isn't the district making sure it has enough paper, cleansing materials, etc.? If it can afford a "pot of money for administrative raises," then it most certainly ought to be able to budget correctly to include basic sanitary supplies and textbooks without going back to the voters every year for bonds, etc.
Go ahead and assume this is a single poster. You are obviously one of the tainted.
Don't feed the troll.
If you think this is hefty, please ask a teacher what (s)he spends on their classroom/students during the year. I don't think families realize where the majority of their children's classroom materials come from. Since beginning my career 4 years ago I have literally spent thousands furnishing my classroom and purchasing supplies. Take books for example. In your average early childhood classroom teachers are expected to provide hundreds of books in a well-organized and differentiated (different genres and reading levels) classroom library. Even when scavenging at yardsales and library sales, this adds up to cost in the hundreds. Most districts do not provide their teachers with books for classroom libraries.
I understand that the request for supplies from families is a burden, but if the school/families don't provide it, the majority of teachers I know will simply purchase it with funds from their own pockets.
Providing materials and books is what the district is supposed to do with the vast amount of tax dollars received from citizens. Instead here they are paying for a "pot of money for the superintendent to give administrative raises." Teachers should not have to be buying books for their classrooms. That is just not right. Nor is it right to expect parents to supply the classrooms when they are already paying taxes.
Also remember that parents are paying for sports programs for their kids, music lessons and instruments for others, environmental camps and other excursions, and the many fundraisers that all the schools and organizations put on throughout the year - where does the payouts stop for parents?
But let's stowe away another $50,000 for non-union staff pay raises....which could pay for more than 50% of the pencils, paper, wipes and other things parents have to shell out at the start of the year!
How about if RD takes the 10 grand that he hands over to the MEF (so they can dole it out to the teachers they like best), and goes to Staples to fulfill the supply list for the kids of MPS.
If the Mayor did that...what favors would be owed him? He is a politician not a Philanthropist - big difference.