From Patch: Need for Additional School Funding through Override is Very Clear
The Melrose Puiblic Schools have had to educate our children with a dramatically smaller budget than its peers.
By: John McLaughlin Jr., Patch Poster I Feb 14, 2019 9:51 AM ET
By every financial measure the City of Melrose has fallen dramatically behind when it comes to investing in our school system and our public school students.
Of the 351 cities and towns in Massachusetts only 8 communities spend less on their students as measured by Per Pupil Expenditure...a benchmark established by the Department of Education. Only 40 communities pay their teachers less, and none of those communities fall inside of Route 128.
The shortfall is dramatic when measured against similar communities throughout the Commonwealth
1) Municipalities with similar Median Household Income
The median family income in Melrose is $94,434 according to the latest census data.
In a sample of 10 similar communities in Massachusetts with populations of at least 22,000 people and median family incomes that average $93,160, Melrose is dead last in Per Pupil Expenditure ($12,248), average teacher salary ($65,368) and second to last in the residential tax rate ($10.81) behind only Burlington ($10.48) who arguably has the most envious commercial tax base inside of Route 128.
The average per pupil expenditure for these 10 communities, including Melrose, is $16,773. To put this in perspective, if Melrose spent an additional $4,525 per student to reach the average of $16,773 our school system would be working with an additional $18,425,000 to educate the 4,072 children in the Melrose Public School System.
Sample Data: Burlington, Canton, Marshfield, Tewksbury, Watertown, Wakefield, Stoneham, Dedham, Norwood.
2) Municipalities with similar Median House Prices
The Median House Price in Melrose is $617,000.
In a sample of 10 Communities in Massachusetts with Median House prices averaging $609,000 and similar populations Melrose is again dead last in Per Pupil Expenditures, average teacher salaries and ranks 9th out of 10th in tax rate, behind Medford at $9.60.
The average per pupil expenditure of these 10 communities is $15,716. Again, if Melrose spent the additional $3,468 per student to reach the average that these communities achieve, the school system would be working with an additional $14,123,000 to educate the children of Melrose.
Sample Data: Medford, Reading, Waltham, Newburyport, North Andover, Natick, Middleton, Acton/Boxborough, Andover.
3) Municipalities within the Middlesex League Athletic Conference
Using the Middlesex League as a barometer tells a similar tale.
Of these 12 Communities Melrose again finishes last in Per Pupil Expenditure and average teacher salary. Melrose is third from last in property tax rate, again finishing closely behind Burlington and Woburn ($9.50). The difference in per pupil expenditure for Melrose and the average of $16,037 in the Middlesex League is $3,737. If Melrose achieved the average of these school systems the Melrose Public Schools would have an additional $15,215,000 to educate the children of Melrose.
Sample Data: Arlington, Burlington, Belmont, Lexington, Reading, Stoneham, Wakefield, Watertown, Wilmington, Winchester, Woburn.
The State average for Per Pupil Expenditures is $16,015 and teacher's salary is $78,707, further adding to the evidence of a tremendous shortfall of funding in Melrose.
Whether it's statewide or in comparison to 24 similar communities in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts the message is clear. The Melrose Public Schools have had to educate our children with a dramatically smaller budget than its peers. The numbers are almost impossible to believe. However, in any comparable data sets the results will be the same. How can they not be when there are 351 Communities in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and Melrose ranks 343rd in Per Pupil Expenditures and 311th in Average Teacher Salary.
The bottom line is that when viewed in comparison to communities that have similar household incomes, similar housing costs and are in our general proximity, Melrose is dead last in school investment, teacher's salaries and 22 out of 25 in the residential tax rate.
During override discussions there will be a group of opponents who come forward with claims that the Melrose School Administration isn't getting the job done and they are providing a lousy education. This group won't support an override until the "right" administration or "right" educational system is put in place. However, the data does not support these claims.
Although Melrose is in dead last for student investment among these cities and towns, the Melrose students are equal to or outperform their counterparts in approximately half of these communities when comparing SAT Scores and 10th Grade MCAS results. Quite an achievement given Melrose's incredible financial disadvantage.
Melrose residents who oppose additional school spending may state that a Melrose education can't compare to Winchester, Lexington and Belmont. They would be correct. However, if Melrose administrators were given the additional $1,350 per student that Winchester and Belmont provide for their children, or the additional $6,000 Lexington provides, the system would have an additional $5,200,000 (Belmont & Winchester) to $24,000,000 (Lexington) to help level the playing field.
Over the past 15 years and 2 failed school override attempts Melrose has had to continue to do more with less. The system is now at the breaking point. The evidence is clear on the need for an override. Based on the data, an override request by the City for $5.18 million is more than reasonable. The only questions left are how important public education is to our community and are we O.K. living in a community that's dead last in student investment and teachers pay. We get to answer those questions on April 2nd.
John McLaughlin Jr.
41 North Avenue
Give me a break. This guy is another Dolan BFF. This is the guy who was at the forefront of the tit-for-tat that got Dolan his giant raise. If he told me it was raining the first thing I'd do is go outside to see if he was telling me the truth.
This is the guy along with RD who bullied JLB. Nasty!
Educated and informed voter.We do have.Just to get even basic information in order to make informed decisions on important votes. The voters will do April 2 2019.
Does McLaughlin, MEF or any of the One Melrose newbies ever compare or contrast the state of police and fire buildings in Melrose to other cities and towns? The state of the buildings where the MFD and MPD work are not fit for humans. Melrose pols don’t give a **** and should never be comfortable looking a firefighter or police officer in the eyes! Will not support any new taxes unless they include fire and police stations. Speak up Illegitimate Gail!
The Mismanagement lack of Transparency and Coverups. No on any Override.
Seriously? Even assuming that's true, which it isn't, what's that got to do with this? Or is it just another attempt to go off-topic and deflect.
Melrose pretends to be a whole lot of things it's not.
Money makes it all better? Are you kidding me.. it takes leadership starting with Taymore. As previously mentioned most improved MCAS scores after you said it was doomsday? Money doesn’t make thing better.. you don’t work hard in school and do your homework, no problem I’ll swipe my card now you go to Harvard.. would you stop reciting the same facts over and over again
Of course she's in favor of the override, you moronic shill. What else did you expect after she was co-opted by this?
She also designed the website for the Melrose Education Foundation.
Palace intrigue is exactly the case. Go away.
I have no interest in any personal references, but wondering if you'd be willing to back up your " demonstrable and overwhelming facts that there is a revenue problem in the City" statement. Specifically in content but general in numbers would be fine.
Quote from patch post:
"Melrose is third from last in property tax rate, again finishing closely behind Burlington and Woburn ($9.50)."
You know someone's trying to manipulate the facts when they rank the tax RATES of communities instead of ranking the average tax BILLS. A tax rate is meaningless when not applied to the assessed values. I found the following assessments for 2017 on the Division of Local Services website (they don't have Malden there):
Town _______Year __Value____________Bill
Melrose____ 2017 __500,780 ________$5,909
Saugus______2017 __372,587 ________$4,490
Stoneham____2017 __460,125 ________$5,701
Wakefield___2017 __471,822 ________$6,148
By using tax rates, he's trying to make everyone believe we pay lower taxes than the other towns. The above data proves otherwise and its two years old. You can expect that Melrose residents pay the most of these towns after adding in all the extra Melrose fees for trash, water and sewer, recreation, building, etc.
You won't see too many people posting here in favor of this override except for shills for the administration, who continue to pile lie after lie on top of each other. Infurna's latest outrage - that the state will pay Melrose 50% less in state aid than last year. That is an outrageously bald-faced lie. Local aid from the state will increase by %76,000. That's 50% of what the administration hoped the increase would be, so they take that 50% and spin a lie out of it. The figures posted by the Taxpayer's Alliance highlight another one - the oft-heard lie about Melrose teachers being the lowest paid of comparable communities. Check out that string if you want illuminating facts. We may spend less on salaries than some, but in total salary/benefit cost per employee, which is the real measure, we are on par with almost every other community, except for the much more affluent couple of them. Our teachers are for the most part at lower steps, and they receive 84% of health care, as opposed to 70% to 75% for the others. You cannot logically exclude those costs from a legitimate compensation comparison, yet that's exactly what they do, over and over again.
Meanwhile, we are getting literally fiscally raped by indefensible water and sewer bills, trash fess, etc, etc, etc. We have police and fire buildings that are literally not fit for human habitation and that don't comply with current laws regarding accessibility, but we can waste $5,000,000.00 on a learning common, and propose a multi-million dollar library renovation, all to placate the pseudo-intellectuals who seem to be driving all decision making.
We constantly hear from this "get a different slant" shill that no one ever comes up with ideas to "make Melrose better", sort of the local version of "make America great again". (How's THAT working out for you?) There is a clearly defined path to making Melrose better, and it's been put forth on these pages for literally years. Get rid of Infurna, the Dolan puppet. Get rid of the entire school committee. Get rid of Taymore and her band of misfit administrators. Get rid of almost all of the aldermen. That would by default make Melrose better, and until that happens, there is no hope of improvement.
One thing you can be absolutely sure of - the more the yes contingent realizes their bull$sit override is in serious trouble, the more outrageous the lies will get.
Melrose needs to close all the schools and give children $11,000 apiece to use for their education.
No more worries about the school system because we won't have one. Parents can send kids to the charter schools, St. Mary's, St. Pat's, etc, or they can homeschool them, use online courses, Kumon or private tutors. The kids will do better than being held down by the heavy hands of overpaid school administrators on power trips.
Voting No! Asking way too much money for what they actually need. Too much money, too rushed, need a permanent mayor, Ridiculous to pay all this money ion a special vote.
Seriously? Rape is not exclusively a sexual assault, especially when the type of rape is clearly stated. Of course, in your PC world, it could only mean one thing, right? You really need to get over yourself.
rape noun (1)
Definition of rape
1 : unlawful sexual activity carried out forcibly or under threat of injury against a person's will
2 : an outrageous violation
3 : an act or instance of robbing or despoiling
When you have to pay way too much for something that you know is way cheaper at other places or just shouldn't cost that much at all."
If you want to be offended by something, maybe start with the word "unlawful" in the first definition. Go away.
Melrose has not passed an override in 25 years. What does that matter. That is proof alone that there is no need and never was.
How many times do you plan on making the exact same post? All it does is waste the limited space available on this site, and adds nothing. Hopefully the "site managers" will delete all these endlessly repetitive posts.
EXCERPTS FROM “AN ALDERMAN TO ADMIRE”
By Arnold Koch
Melrose Weekly News Forum
Feb. 1, 2013
Then came some disturbing comments about the Mayor and (supporter) John McLaughlin’s
behind the scenes pressure (about the Mayor’s raise, . She was told by the mayor on Dec. 14
that he would seek a 26 percent pay increase and replied it was high-
er than she expected and could not spport it as setting a bad prece-
dent. His response was, “Now that McLaughlin is on this, you won't
have a choice.”
On Jan. 11, after many calls from McLaughlin, she told him it was
nothing against the mayor, to which McLaughlin said if she did not
agree, he would have to get 300 people to the hearing. She
explained that she voted based on what she thinks is right whether
that decision is popular or not. Two minutes later the mayor called
and she reiterated her position and endured “35 minutes of the
She didn’t want to embarrass anyone but she wanted to make it
crystal clear that “this kind of behavior will not be tolerated on this
matter or any matter.”
Turns out she was not the only alderman who “got the treatment”
if they were in oposition. One alderman who voted in favor said he
never got any intimidating phone calls. No wonder. He was going to
Illegitimate Gail was a “yes girl” to RD on his raise and everything else. She was a bystander to bullying JLB which has made some people wonder why JLB would work for her? JLB showed guts then and it cost her. Pushing the raise was a precursor to the way pushing the Override is being done. Rushed, behind the scene shenanigans and the manipulative of facts and figures. Same old same old. And One Melrosers wonders why so many voters don’t respect or trust Melrose Politicians and will vote NO because of their distrust.
As a prior poster pointed out, "make Melrose better" is the local version of "Make America Great Again", and asked "How's THAT working out for you?" Politicians always resort to sloganeering when the facts belie their words. These people are so full of **** it's draining from their ears. How is one to know when they are lying? That's easy - their lips are moving.
The same poster likened what's going on to a "financial rape". In spite of one uneducated PC buffoon who didn't know there are multiple definitions of the word and complained about the description, the description is accurate.
Emphatically voting NO to ANY override, now and in the future, until these people are gone and we get some elected officials with morals and ethics.
Yes I am a angry and baffled. We were told there would not be a special election for New Mayoral candidates because they did not want to spend for a special election then ???? interim Mayor and 30/40K special override election. They knew exactly what they were doing.
The school committee members feel they are shielded from responsibility.Not Responsible for anything to do with the superintendent.Melrose pub schools.We all should look back.
Voting NO on any new taxes until this City addresses the longest running crisis in Melrose.