Schools & School Committee
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Middlesex League Schools

· Belmont High School
· Burlington High School
· Lexington High School
· Melrose High School
· Reading Memorial High School
· Stoneham High School
· Wakefield High School
· Watertown High School
Per Pupil Expenditure Reports
Per pupil expenditures, all funds, by function (Local and Regional Districts), FY14 Expenditures Per Pupil, All Funds



2012 44,512,856

2013 45,820,540

2014 47,405,266


Best Public Schools in Boston 2015 — Sortable Chart
125 school districts in the Greater Boston area

Town/City Rank Per-Pupil Spending
Melrose 78 $11,505
Reading 55 $11,281
Wakefield 66 $12,418
Belmont 45 $12,659
Stoneham 41 $13,864
Burlington 39 $16,643
Lexington 3 $16,812
Watertown 65 $17,279

mmtv & mayor's youtube

League of Women Voters Candidates and Override Forums

Re: Facts

The mayor claimed that Melrose is "dead last" in the Middlesex League per-pupil expenditures. He is dead wrong. The only metric in which Melrose is "dead last" in the Middlesex League is in its overall ranking.

Re: Facts

RD is "truth-challenged," as it were, among his many obvious shortcomings.

Re: Facts

It's interesting to see that Reading spends less than Melrose and does so much better scholastically. That has been mentioned on here before but I wanted to highlight it again.
Belmont surprises me with their relatively low spending too considering the value of the homes there. Belmont does well academically too.
Watertown is interesting. Looks like they are throwing a lot of money at their schools which have been dismal in the past.

Re: Facts

Per pupil spending is essentially meaningless when rating the quality of a school system. How the money is spent is what's important, and as long as legal fees for defending civil rights violations and "pots of money" for administration raises are included in the equation, per-pupil figures are meaningless. How does Reading get so much better results than Melrose? Simple. The spend their money wisely.

Same for Belmont - a much more affluent community than Melrose, yet they get much better results with only a fraction more money. They are getting great bang for their buck. And by the way, Dan Richards is doing a great job at Belmont High School.

Watertown is a good indicator that you can't turn a poor system into a good one by throwing money at it, which is essentially what the Mayor and his lackeys are asking us to do - again, and forever.

They still don't get it - we're on to you, Mr. Mayor. We get the sleight of hand you and your MEF mommy brigade are trying to pull, and we hear the lies you put forth. This time you're not going to get away with it. You should be ashamed of yourself.

One thing you must realize about the Mayor - his #1 priority is making himself look good. If he'd limit his focus to the city side, like he's supposed to, he'd have some things he could point to as successes, water and sewer notwithstanding, but he thinks of himself as an "education expert". Where he got that idea is anyone's guess. Perhaps it's just his supreme arrogance that led to that conclusion.

Re: Facts

So Melrose is low on per pupil spending but high on spending for administration. Surprise, surprise, surprise. Dan Richards you say? Word is one of the contenders for the Melrose HS principal job when he left is doing a bang-up job in Tewksbury. Yet Melrose passed her up and went back to a tried and true crony. Surprise, surprise, surprise.

Re: Facts

So Melrose is low on per pupil spending but high on spending for administration. Surprise, surprise, surprise. Dan Richards you say? Word is one of the contenders for the Melrose HS principal job when he left is doing a bang-up job in Tewksbury. Yet Melrose passed her up and went back to a tried and true crony. Surprise, surprise, surprise.

Chief Rick Smith left for Wakefield and doing a SUPER JOB! All Melrose got were DETAIL hOARES, PAYROLL PARASITES, AND THE GOLD BADGE SINDICATE.

Re: Facts

Looking at the School Committee page one would think that everything was positively wonderful in every possible way:

Ms. Murphy's article in the Free Press this past week speaks to the real issues.

Shame on the school committee and administrators for putting all the emphasis on spin and being totally disingenuous (and even dishonest) about the real issues. These people do not deserve our trust!

Joining others in Voting yes for Melrose by voting NO on the Override!

Re: Facts

This is the kind of statement from the Yes (for more taxes) (No for Melrose) camp that belies common sense:
"SIX full time teachers in STEM, history, and art/music. The plan is to hire cross-trained teachers. For example, a teacher qualified to teach both physics and calculus will go a long way in helping in both subject areas."

"a teacher qualified to teach both physics and calculus": Does this woman not understand that the very team of administrators that she apparently supports with her advocacy for the override is the team that drove away the legendary Dr. Peterson? Is this woman truly that ignorant of the facts? She claims to want the best for the high school, and yet she doesn't seem to comprehend that nothing in this ballot measure will improve the high school, but will only prop up a bunch of failed administrators who treated Dr. Peterson, Mrs. Weeks, and so many others of the very best, most dedicated of all Melrose educators with utter contempt. These administrators have no ability to hire, mentor or retain quality educators, and the facts prove this.

This administrative team complains openly about the poor candidate pool (a gross misrepresentation) when in fact good school systems are still attracting good candidates (and not solely because they pay more, since Melrose has historically paid less than most and still been able to attract many of the finest educators who stayed here for the better part of their careers). The reasons our district can only attract the most inexperienced and/or the least qualified (many of whom obviously have poor content knowledge and are nearly functionally illiterate--as is the case for most of the administrative team) is because the word on the street is that Melrose is a district to avoid for anyone who cares about their professional reputation, being a district that is viewed as one which mistreats its best educators and only knows how to hire, reward and retain its cronies.

Re: Facts

This is also the administrative team that hired the most incompetent and awful department chair for the Arts and then decided not to fire her after a disastrous first year, instead causing at least two more federal civil rights complaints with OCR to be filed. Now the department is stuck with a do-nothing, absolutely unqualified department "director" who truly knows nothing about arts management (let alone education!) at over $75,000 a year, and a very costly legal battle that will cost all taxpayers for years to come.

Re: Facts

"SIX full time teachers in STEM, history, and art/music. The plan is to hire cross-trained teachers."

How about cross-dressed instead? That might make more sense!

This is just foolishness. By the way, good districts have adopted "STEAM" which includes the arts, not just "STEM" that only reflects the narrow-minded, boring, cold limitation of a Science/Technology/Engineering/Math approach minus the Arts, which anyone with any degree of sophistication knows must include the Arts.

This administration has no sophistication and therefore puts forward all kinds of nonsensical silliness that well-educated educators have long understood. No, looking for teachers who will teach both history and science is a dumb idea, not because there aren't occasional good teachers who could actually do this, but because the kinds of individuals our district hires are generally from the bottom of the barrel, the ones so green and/or generally unqualified that other districts wouldn't give them a second look. The merging of calculus & physics for MHS' one teacher was created out of necessity (and from the incredible generosity of Dr. P who wanted so badly to help the students regardless of the personal cost to her!) from the Physics Debacle of 2009. Such a hiring would only work for someone with the unique qualifications and extraordinary work ethic of the great Dr. Peterson.

Naturally our administration thinks that it would be dandy to get someone who claims to be able to teach in several areas, but anyone who trusts this to be a "smart" goal should re-think their basis of trust. The administration just wants to be able to parse out in bits of a full-time employment position (say, .4) and fill in all the missing blanks of its staffing problems (which are many) with these supposedly versatile teachers. This is another "strategy" of really poor administrators who can't manage to bring in or keep highly qualified educators but will reward themselves with top dollar salaries and impressive euphemisms on their CVs as they carpet-bag their way onwards to other gullible districts willing to advance them up their Peter Principle ladders.

Re: Facts
More flawed thinking from M Darwin on the Yes Blog:

"If you are a parent: How much do you spend on your kids’ sports each year? Is it more than $244? None of my kids will play for the NFL, NHL, MLB, or NBA. Will yours? In contrast, each of our children has the potential to change the world. And our world needs some changing. Let’s support them academically as we support them athletically. Because we should."

The inferences and implications here are entirely flawed. There is no actual reason to expect that this override will "support the[students] academically" but more likely just pad the slush fund of the superintendent and mayor. Needing to hire a fleet of "experts" (academic interventionists & facilitators) to teach the teachers is hardly a flattering "need" for this administration! How about hiring qualified teachers in the first place? How about NOT DRIVING AWAY our very best teachers, as Taymore has done (the facts are irrefutable here!)? Why on earth should taxpayers "support" an obviously failed administration?

Most parents with children in sports have to pay a great deal more than $244 in a year (for one child). So what? Does that mean we should forego paying for one of our children in order to pad the administrative slush fund (to fund another "pot of money for the superintendent to give administrative raises")? Or does it mean that we shouldn't care about such a seemingly paltry amount that will go towards the false claims of "investing" in our children's school system? What about all the families who are too embarrassed to admit that they can't afford all the sports fees, music fees, photography fees, drama fees, etc., etc., that our arrogant administration now automatically presumes it can collect for our public schools? What about all those families who pay these fees but for whom it means they can't then afford the mammogram that was scheduled or the copay for that MRI or that it is now a toss-up between paying the water bill or funding a child's soccer season or the high school junior's field trip for Mock UN?

Ms. Darwin seems quite in tune with the arrogance of this school system and the politicians who think that anyone who struggles with the increasing cost of raising a family in Melrose must be someone who should "just move," as too many bullies here are prone to say.

Voting No on the override in order to vote Yes for Melrose.

Re: Facts

Thank you @Flawed Thinking. I found those statements offensive too and I agree with what you have written.

One of the many problems I have with the yes (for more taxes) group is the assumption that everybody living in Melrose has extra money waiting to be spent on extra taxes, retroactive water bills and plastic flamingo visits.

The condescension of saying that the override payment can be made if you skip Starbucks every week that was promoted a few months ago was infuriating. Many people are already skipping Starbucks. Many citizens of Melrose are already rationing things, some of these, as pointed out, are essentials.

It must be great to have so much money that you feel comfortable telling other people how to manage and spend theirs.

To be noted, there is no work off provision for the override tax increase. I see people saying with straight faces that there must be "something" for the less fortunate. But there is not. Not really.

For the NON-ELDERLY (taken from the mayor's blog) this is available. Only this. Nothing for tax abatement or "work-off":

Solid Waste Fee Waiver

Any resident with an income $35,000 or less for singles, $40,000 for married couples, who owns and occupies a home, is eligible for a 100% discount on the trash fee.

Not much and not credible.

The waiver does not take into account household size which is unforgivable. By this measure, a single parent needs to make less than a married couple to receive the waiver? Even though he or she has children to support in the home?

How many Non-Elderly single person homeowners are there in Melrose who don't have children? Who make under $35,000 a year?

Federal free lunch, SNAP and other programs consider family size which makes sense. This does not.

It's a machination to avoid having anyone qualify.

Re: Facts

AND the Trash fee is actually an illegal tax, which Don Conn has pointed out many times.

So let's see this dog of an override go down in flames and then force those like Alderman Conn to clean house and get rid of the illegal doings from the 2nd floor (way past due); time for them to grow a pair and force compliance with the laws and common sense!

And someone please tell Mortimer that his a$$hole "suggestions" to "shower at the Y" in order to save on water need to stop!

Re: Facts

The teachers have not been outspoken in support of this override. These funds are not helping anything in their classrooms . No smaller classes. No additional paras. . When it was decided what positions were needed were there teachers on the committee? Voting NO!