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The Music program is at risk with the plan to change A Block, eliminate prerequisites for Orchestra and Band, and lump all the band and orchestra instruments & equipment into the orchestra room during the next year. Come help, please! The chair is not competently advocating for the program, instead agreeing to all of this nonsense.
just watched the band representatives talk about the coming changes to the schedule for next year the administration wants to take band out of A block.thus preventing our student musicians from going back and forth between the orchestra and the band. This cross pollination is important for the survival of the music program at MHS. The administration needs to remember that it is very easy to destroy what is good and works.
The horror show who hired the chair is who really should be fired, right along with that chair. And yet watch them give themselves raises at the same time they come after our checkbooks for an override! Unbelievable! Our community has fallen to new lows.
kudos to the MHS students who spoke up is such an articulate and professional manner to defend both the ARTS and Music program. Shame on Thorp for interrupting and cutting off the one art student as she was concluding and thanking the SC for the opportunity to speak. Perhaps the Chair should go back and watch the tape of herself. The entire SC should have been congratulating the students on there confidence and deportment, these are our future leaders. Hopefully some one, Mayor Dolan, perhaps, will step up and realize we are a community that supports the arts, and what is being done will destroy music in the high school
What happened in last night's meeting should be a wake-up call for the entire community.
Actually the "horror show who hired the" Fine and Perf. Arts Chair is CT, but otherwise your points are on target. It is all a horror show right now, and getting worse by the minute. They can't wait for everyone to go away for the summer so they can get on with the business of doling out those big raises. Interesting that the para salaries were mentioned, because in fact they average around $14,000, not even $19,000, which is still not close to being a living wage. But watch them dole out that $48,000 and then give all of the top brass their vastly undeserved increases, while sending out the dopey minions with their hands out whining about needing an override. It's all so crazy and upside-down backwards. Melrose really has become a backwater of ignorant crooked jerks running everything straight into the ground.
That SC meeting was horrendous to watch. The young women who spoke about wanting to stand up for the program that she loves was talking to the wrong group. The SC clearly does not care about giving her the well-rounded academic experience she craves and deserves. What a short-sighted way of looking at education. Sad.
Those beautifully articulate students may have been speaking to a mostly hostile brick wall in the chamber, but we in the public were listening! They were magnificent and powerful. Those administrators should be so so ashamed. Those elected officials who've sat by and allowed all of this and then grossly dissed the students with their gushing remarks about the obviously incompetent and tremendously harmful new arts chair should be lambasted publicly. Where is the accountability????
Voting NO to giving more money to this obviously horrible administration! Not one more dime!
Aside from the personnel issues; (which only the teacher and the principal really understand completely), economic pressures are causing the changes to the arts programs. Good points were made during the meeting, but tough decision have to be made and the school has to look at the number of students involved in any activity when they make choices that have financial consequences.
I am a supporter of the arts and for that reason I AM SUPPORTING THE OVERRIDE. Anyone that claims they support the arts should support the override. Any of the fine students that spoke the other evening, if you are 18 be sure to register to vote in November so that you can vote for the overrride. Also, be sure to tell your parents and any other voter you know in Melrose to support the override. Despite all the nonsense out here; there are difficult economic realities that must be dealt with and giving another $2.5m to the city won't cure all, but it is a step in the right direction. Those that use this issue as a reason to oppose the override are completely illogical and, I suggest, are doing so to try to harm this city, not help.
I see nothing in the proposed override that benefits the arts in any way. It looks like an attempt to create another huge slush fund. Tell me the override is for a new police station a town parking facility or needed to renovate, elementary schools, reopen the Beebe school due to increased enrollment And I will vote for it. The proposed override is none of these. I have been a Dolan supporter for years and have kids in the school system, but on this override I say NO.
Do you honestly believe that passing the override will save the arts program? Really and truly? If your answer is yes, then I feel bad for you. You have been deluded. The money will be as mismanaged as all the money thrown at the school system in the past. There is nobody in a position of power that has the students as his main concern. I would more readily give money directly to the students so they could start an independent band program than give money to the school system so they can find a new way to waste it.
The schools already get more than 70% of the total city budget. Enough already. Since they have proven conclusively they can't even manage while getting that much makes voting no on an override a no-brainer. Get you fractured act together, then come see me. I won't hold my breath.
Speaking of adding up the numbers, can you explain how the schools are getting over 70% of the budget? Last year, the city budget was $70,418,700.98. If the schools were getting "only" (not over) 70% of that, the school budget would be $49,293,090.60. The actual school budget was $24,372,195. Can you show me where the additional $24,920,895.68 outside of the school budget came from to support the statement that the schools are using up 70% of the budget? Because the numbers don't seem to work for me. Thank you.
"the school budget would be $49,293,090.60."
That is correct because the cityside pays for employee benefits, building maintenance (DPW), a portion of technology (which it manages very very badly).
So the actual school budget is far greater than what the School Committee votes on.
$24,372,195.00 is only the salaries line. You left out everything else.
You are wrong. The following is cut and pasted from the munis sheet.
S & W
The $885,000 plus assessment for the Vokes are listed somewhere else, as is debt service, maintenance, athletics, buses, etc, etc. This is strictly salaries and wages. Nothing else.
Looking at the SC budget document, the numbers are:
2015 total salary - $23,587,037
Contracted services - $2,906,269
Supplies - $551,408
Technology - $121,880
So the total budget is $27,166,695 of which the SC received $24,372,195 from the city.
Where the charter school funding is listed in the city budget?
One more time, then I give up. Look at the Munis sheets. That is the actual accounting. Department 300, Line 51 is salaries only.
That is fine. The differences in the 2 salaries we citing from munis or the SC budget is less than $1,000,000. So then you add the other things to the SC buddget and you get an additional $4 million. So either way, it doesn't get you to $49 million dollars. So can you show me on munis where the rest of the money is coming from to make up the $49,000,000 school budget figure that would indicate that the schools are taking up 70% of our municipal budget? Thank you.
No. It's 66 pages long. Look it up yourself. What I'm hearing from you is that you don't understand how the city budget actually works. I'll give you more examples - employee health care is a hair under $11,000,000.00. More than half of that is spent covering school employees. That's on page 63. In this case, the entire cost comes out of the city side of the budget. On pgs 30 & 31 you'll find another 2 million in school expenses not in the school budget. I didn't say the school budget was 70% of the total budget. I said the schools get 70% of the entire city budget. Clearly you don't understand the difference.
Download it directly as a pdf.
I can read a budget, thank you--it is why I am asking you questions for how you are accounting for your statements. So the health insurance takes up $11 million. Let's say the schools use up more than half of that - that would be $6 million (do you know the exact figure are you just making this up?). So you have $24 million in salaries, $6 million in health insurance, and $4 million in the rest of the school budget other than salaries. You are up to $34 million. Then you have your other $2 million from pages 31 and 32 as you mentioned. So given this, you still have over $13 million more to account for if you want to say that the schools are using over 70% of a 70 million dollar city budget.
Unbelievable. If you think you can read a budget, go through the other 63 pages and find the line items yourself. I'm not your personal auditor. I stand by my statement. The numbers are right there in Munis.
No, if you are going to make gross generalizations you need to back them up with actual data. You obviously can't. Thanks for proving my point.
I don't need to do anything, and it isn't a gross generalization, it's a fact. The numbers are right there for anyone who cares to look at them, which you obviously don't, and the numbers don't lie. The only point you proved is that either you have an agenda, or you don't know what you're talking about, or both.
Last night's BOA meeting included an order that demonstrated perfectly why the "school budget" does not anywhere near accurately reflect the actual cost to the taxpayers of "running" the schools. An order came before the board for a transfer of some 27000 odd dollars to IT. Mr Pazos explained that the majority of that was to cover school internet costs. You won't see that in the school budget, nor will you see lots of other things, like health care cost. The schools are bleeding this city dry, using approximately 70% of the cities available revenue. Absolutely unconscionable.