The Melrose Free Press last week reported the current METCO director is leaving for a position in Wellesley. The article seems to suggest the Salary for the next METCO director position depends on the override passing. With respect to the search for a new director the superintendent is quoted stating “I do nothing until April 3. The search can begin on April 3.” My understanding is the METCO grant Melrose receives from the state includes the salary for the METCO director along with other expenses for running the program. Is The Superintendent telling the truth here ?
I will look it up later but it makes sense that the salary would be included in the Metco funding. If not, this position has been funded by the city for 40 years without mention. I don't appreciate using the Metro program as a bargaining chip to force people to vote for the override.
Taymore is hiring anyone over 65. The new metco gentleman was placed in this job till she finds someone else. He has no background in the position at all. Taymore only wants the money from what the metco brings. The paras she is also using with the override. All a set up thanks to the union because this override is not going to be successful.
The superintendent, as per usual, as distorted the facts (and the SC sat there allowing her to do so, also as per usual). The METCO grant pays for METCO costs, including the METCO director's salary. That does not hinge on any override, nor has that ever been the case. It is simply dishonest to portray it as such.
Also, since Joe Casey's tenure, over $200,000 (sometimes a lot over) from the METCO grant has been scooped by the superintendent to be used as a general slush fund to pay for whatever he/she determined, whether or not it had anything whatsoever to do with servicing METCO students. This is not supposed to be allowable, but the state has replied (since some of us inquired directly) that they did not have enough staff (or will of governor/DESE) to crack down and prevent this abuse from happening (as is still the case). So the real scoop is that Melrose PROFITS from having this METCO program, not the reverse. METCO funds are being used for non-METCO purposes thanks to the loosey-goosey accounting methods of the district (which should not be considered valid and would not be if a proper forensic audit were performed!).
The rest of the truth is that for all the years of the current outgoing METCO director, Melrose administration flagrantly discriminated against this administrator, requiring all the elements of administrative duties and in fact more than the rest (365 days, 24/7 responsibility for each and every METCO student/family, Master's degree, etc.) but NEVER awarded the director a legitimate contract or salary, which was always far below that of comparable administrators in the district, despite far more extensive duties and qualifications. This situation was known to Melrose elected and appointed officials, including Brodeur, who chose to look the other way instead of to step up and bring justice to the situation.
Losing Director Doreen Ward, the 21-year Melrose METCO Director, is a great loss for Melrose. She has tirelessly and selflessly advocated with distinction and devotion for all of the METCO students in her purview. We are thankful for her extraordinary service and wish her all the best. We will be watching this situation with vigilance and hope that an appropriate new director is hired, and finally provided a legitimate contract and fair salary!
This, by the way, is public information that was gleaned from public sources (though admittedly with difficulty, since Melrose administrators/School Committee outrageously work to conceal information that the public is entitled to see since it pertains to tax dollars and public employees!).
Melrose administration has flagrantly discriminated against this director and will do so again to the next one if allowed to do so. This shameful situation persisted even after Melrose was found to have created a racially hostile environment by the U.S. Department of Civil Rights in the OCR Findings!
Melrose Administrators and School Committee will also continue to lie to the public about the source of funding for the METCO director, as long as it can get away with doing so.
This message board is making possible the conveyance of truthful and factual information, and we thank those responsible for this.
The Metco information should be posted on the MCG board so that all the "yes" bullies can try and negate this information.
METCO funding comes directly from the annual METCO grant and has zero to do with the other budgetary processes. It is simply a lie by CT that there would be any connection whatsoever or that an override would have any impact, and of course the school committee (now led by a convicted felon!) sat there and allowed CT to mischaracterize and lie (no surprise there).
It could be interpreted that way I suppose. But how about this? Stop swiping METCO funds for use in the general school budget.
The override is going to fail. I wonder what disingenuous snarky comment she'll make then? The expression on her face as she was saying that made me want to throw a brick at the TV. What a tarantula.
Do yourself a favor. Take a long, hard, honest look at the collection of nitwits running the schools. How could you possibly expect anything but what we've gotten?
CT actually said that she wouldn't make a decision re METCO director until day after override vote (during Dec SC mtg). She and SC really think we are all stupid and pay zero attention, which is not entirely unsupported based on who the voters have sent to sit on these boards. That being said, not all of us are ignorant and gullible! CT and SC are chronic liars, as are PdR, RvC, JS, and so many others of the elected and appointed officials.
METCO Melrose enrollment: 125
METCO grant to Melrose, FY 2018: $511,125 pupil allotment
$197,988 transportation allotment
$709,113 total METCO grant funding
$5,762.91 per METCO pupil
Melrose Pubic Schools per pupil spending: $12,247.23
There's $821K spent so we can feel good about ourselves...
These figures from "Real Facts" are entirely incorrect. Melrose Public Schools have MADE significant amounts of money each year from the METCO program, to say nothing of the immense benefits this program has brought to the city over many years. The poster is putting forward a right-wing argument meant to demonstrate sophisticated understanding and a vantage point of fiscal responsibility, but in fact these figures are not even close to being correct.
"There's $821K spent so we can feel good about ourselves... "
This reveals so much awful and unsophisticated.
This neglects to mention what the district earns from Chapter 70 funding or how the Foundation funding works, or that since Joe Casey's days, the district steals a quarter of a million directly from the METCO grant for purposes that have little or nothing to do with METCO students.
This "so that we can feel good about ourselves" reveals the vile attitude of the poster, part of the toxic backdrop among so many here and why the OCR found a culture of systemic racial hostility in Melrose that only a very few seem to find objectionable.
Dear Real Facts,
If you're looking for some scapegoat for home-grown mismanagement, I'm afraid you've fallen for the politicians' tactics - hook, line, and sinker. Don't feel bad, you're not alone. Look at all the well-meaning, but naive override proponents who are knocking on doors each weekend. They took the bait, too. They also scapegoat things like METCO. Their argument is that the politicians have already been working 'magic' against some horrible, external villains, and now can't keep up with it.
The real problem isn't METCO, it's not the charter school, it's not state funding, and it's not increased enrollment, either. The real problems are sitting in the offices of the mayor, auditor, and superintendent. Their chronic, status-quo mismanagement persists, unabated, due to their insular nature and the willful neglect of the school committee and the aldermen. The very people in Melrose charged with governance and oversight have become nothing more than rubber stamps. That Melrose model is what gets Melrose into unfortunate situations, time after time. The only 'magic' the politicians here make is with the smoke and mirrors they use to convince taxpayers that the problems are due to money and other scapegoats - anything but them.
Here's the Real Facts about METCO:
The largest revenue source for METCO is the one you left out - all the Chapter 70 funds Melrose receives for the 125 students. It likely amounts to $1.4 - $1.5 Million, by itself. It's about one-sixth of all the Chapter 70 funds Melrose receives from the state. It amounts to about the average per-pupil expenditure for Melrose times each of the 125 METCO students. (It's not any fault of yours that you don't know about it. The politicians are happy to let you believe anything which supports their narrative.)
Of course, the AVERAGE cost per pupil is far more than the MARGINAL cost of adding in 9-10 students per grade of 300. In the last few years, Melrose has been overjoyed to get money for the "School Choice" students, and they only bring in $5,000 each. Melrose likely makes a 'profit' off the METCO students of about $700,000 on the Chapter 70 reimbursement, alone, compared to if we didn't participate in METCO.
The $700,000 from the METCO grant about which you wrote is supposed to cover transportation, the director and support staff. Because Melrose doesn't hire nearly enough METCO support staff, it pockets another few hundred thousand dollars from the METCO students. Between Chapter 70 and the unapplied funds, METCO students subsidize the hometown students to the tune of $1,000,000 a year.
Please don't attempt to use METCO as a scapegoat any longer. As of now, let's take that one scapegoat off the table for the rest of this override discussion. Now that you've seen the Real Facts, someone may begin to believe you have other motives if you persist.
It's good that the million dollars of extra money from METCO goes to help Melrose school children. METCO helps them even more with the benefit of filling the void of diversity in their otherwise-sheltered suburban lives.
So all the extra $1,000,000 from METCO gets sucked into the vortex of the schools, never to be seen again. That's the magic of the schools - it just disappears!