I see handwringing over "where is the one million dollars going to come from" to fund the school budget? Woe are us says the school committee.
I am sincerely asking here, How can this be?
Is there really a shortfall?
How did costs increase by one million in a year?
Does this have to do with the mayor's threats made after the override failed?
Are the school system's legal bills a million dollars? 1/2 a million but not a million is the figure I've seen.
When there was 3 million dollars, found laying around a few months ago, why wasn't 1/3 of it set aside for the schools?
I would appreciate an explanation, if anyone has one. It doesn't make sense to me without some kind of information.
There is no explanation. The whole thing is the yearly charade to try to scare MEF Moms and their lemmings to go tell everyone we need an override. Just watch. The punishment for mommies and daddies not passing the override last year will be a major increase in fees for sports, music, and extracurriculars, for which parents are already paying way beyond the district's actual cost to provide.
That's evil to punish the parents and kids like that
while the district's top administrators spend hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars set aside for educating our kids on high priced attorneys and public relations firms to defend themselves from their defenseless actions. And now they need more money?? Sick.
This Mayor has more slush funds than you can shake a stick it! As the Mayor sometimes says to his closest friends, thank god for enterprise funds!
"I see handwringing over "where is the one million dollars going to come from" to fund the school budget? Woe are us says the school committee."
Why would you expect anything different from this School Committee, mayor, and superintendent?
"I am sincerely asking here, How can this be?
Is there really a shortfall?"
It's a game they're playing, and we lose.
"How did costs increase by one million in a year?"
Of course costs increase. Haven't you been to the grocery store lately? But that isn't the reason the administration is claiming a "deficit" any more than it was when they claimed that fake "structural deficit" they trumped up to try and get their override. This is all an artificial construct based on what Dolan and Della Russo came up with behind the scenes that they are now using to scare the community, all part of their sick power play.
"Does this have to do with the mayor's threats made after the override failed?"
Of course it is.
"Are the school system's legal bills a million dollars? 1/2 a million but not a million is the figure I've seen."
How would anyone but the administration and chair of the school committee even know since they are hiding most of it? They tried to charge their own member $8,000 to have that information! CKK showed us over many years the way they have been working so hard to keep critical information like this from the public, or even from those who are supposed to authorize the payments to the law firms representing the district. She showed us recently (February) that there were something like $85,000 just in one "warrant" that represented just one of the attorney's billings for 5 months that they claimed they only just then knew about even though she argued that they were date and time stamped by White-Lambright going back each month starting last August. But where were your questions (which are good ones) then?
"When there was 3 million dollars, found laying around a few months ago, why wasn't 1/3 of it set aside for the schools?"
Perfectly fine question. It's all a cynical manipulation that the mayor, school committee and superintendent are able to pull off because too many are willing to give up after a short burst of mini-outrage and few are willing to step up and stay with it. Real honest-to-goodness, sustained advocacy with tough questions and dialogue that often involves struggle is attacked as "negative" by too many here. Read that ridiculous Facebook "Community Page" and see how "negativity" is attacked instead of the real problems that should be their focus if the adults there they wanted to see a more mature, "positive," fair and kind Melrose.
Sure, parents, teachers, and kids (and probably city staff) have learned that retaliation and unfair treatment (shunning being a big one) are a typical response now in this culturally hostile environment. But it doesn't have to be that way. It will only change, though, if good people retake ownership of the community.
I agree with you - I am sick and tired of this annual complaining about "not enough money in the budget".
- Oh by the way - we had a 3 million dollar surplus last year even though we asked for an override - please don't ask us where that money is.
- Oh by the way, we need more money to pay for legal fees - please don't ask what for.
-Oh by the way, we need another $10k to pay for a PR firm to tell us how to communicate with the public - please don't ask why we need a PR firm.
-Oh by the way, we need more money to give our teachers another 25% raise over the next 3 years but we will tell the stupid public that it is only a 1% raise - it worked the last time around and the public has a short memory - please don't ask why 20% of them "needs improvement".
This stuff reminds of the Abbott and Costello skit called, "Whose on First?"
"Read that ridiculous Facebook "Community Page" and see how "negativity" is attacked instead of the real problems that should be their focus if the adults there they wanted to see a more mature, "positive," fair and kind Melrose."
Yes, as of today there was one presumably well-meaning parent who posted about "working with the school administration, not against" with the clear implication that those who are doing the heavy lifting and revealing the truth are somehow working "against" the district and being "negative." That is just such an immature and irresponsible way of looking at all of these things. Any parent who is being responsible knows that part of doing the right thing often means being "negative" (as in calling out what isn't acceptable), though hopefully doing it with the best intentions.
The current budget debacle is a perfect example of the dysfunction and the immature attitudes the community seems too willing to accept on face value. It isn't just the elementary parents, either, though the leaders of that ed foundation are doing quite the job of discrediting themselves and the elementary parent population with their highly political behavior and linkage to the whole patronage system this mayor has woven for his own political agenda.
A big part of what is wrong in Melrose these days is this attacking and shunning of anyone deemed "negative" and refusal to support those who have been fighting for our kids, doing the dirty work of learning about and handling the bad stuff and trying to force accountability. It's been way too easy for gullible parents, PTO, etc. to jump on the vilification bandwagon and blame the wrong people for the troubles in the community or the reason for the lack of public engagement with the issues. Listen to most of the aldermen and certainly all of the veteran school committee members and you hear this kind of immature and irresponsible mentality. There is no way that this community can continue to expect others to do its heavy lifting while hanging back and even attacking anything deemed too "negative." Time for the community collectively to grow up!
You hit the nail on the head Hoover. If you dare say one negative thing about the schools on social media you might as well paint your house with a giant scarlet A. Same was true during the override process. Look how many people voted no but never said a word publically. Accountability is something severely lacking on our SC and with our administration.
Voted No on the Override and will vote No on any future attempt despite all the ravings of the MEF narcissistic parents. Get the message. You are not getting any additional $ until the SC and admin clean up the budget shenanigans and fire the incompetent staff. No wonder the teachers call in sick. The stress is killing them...literally.... Who would sub for the pay allotted for substitute teachers? The 50 bucks per day hasn't been raised in 20-25 years...at least....? But we can pay for the health insurance of the BOA members....current and retired ....and find CT "exemplary" and give her raises....get a grip, Melrose! No, No, No...Thank God, I do not have children in the school system anymore...they got out before the meltdown.
And be sure there will be a "pot of money" for mid summer raises for Taymore's crack team of administrators who have thrown the district into turmoil. But you won't know about it because the school committe waits to vote on this when everyone is vacationing in July. Maybe we should be voting on this now, while they are discussing the budget?
It looks like the extra Kindergarten classes will be at Lincoln and Roosevelt. So will they hire Asst Principals? We have so many condos and apt buildings going up there will be additional enrollments. Not everyone moving to Melrose buys a home. There are lots of residents who rent or buy condos with small children. I am glad Melrose is booming but we are busting at the seams.
Since it looks like the schools are going to be overwhelmed for the next few years, planning is in order. For more than next year. Long term including consideration of a population decease if there is one on the horizon.
The charter school gets maligned but if it closed tomorrow, as said above 300 students would need space in MPS. Students who have parents that didn't want to send their kids to MPS so presumably not on board with the doings of MPS.
One point of confusion is that Melrose is participating in school choice where students from other communities can apply to come in for certain grades. Melrose receives 5k each for these students which in under the Melrose per pupil expenditure so how is this a good thing? Doesn't the city lose money by having the out of town students here?
Even if there is not the same level of overcrowding in the grades that accept the school choice students, could any 'extra' resources be moved down to the lower grades where they are needed? [:-?]
Darn fortunate that the school system is so wretched and has a reputation that is anything but enviable now. The taxpaying parents of those 550+ students who now attend private or parochial schools are keeping things afloat for Paymore to accrue large increases in the administrative budget and for all those consultants and attorneys without taking up spaces in the district. Paymore and Doughland had better make sure the system continues to worsen. Maybe more students will be pulled from the system while the tax dollars continue to funnel in. Don't know why ClownA$$ is so upset with those who are going to private or parochial schools because this scheme is actually working for the disastrous administration.
Here's an idea, instead of continuing to lose money on the ecc, why not get rid of it and put all the K overages there? Think of all those MEF mommies needing to find a new pre-school for their little types just so that our kindergarten students have a place to take class.
By law, the district has to evaluate any taxpayer student for whom there is a concern of special education needs. Once identified as SPED, the district must provide services for said student. The families still pay taxes here, so even if they send their child to private school, they can still utilize the services in the city. Same for homeschooled kids.
Well a decision needs to be made soon on Kindergsrten. Little over 5 months to get it straightened out!
Where are they on deciding if they are going to add a K to the HM? I think there was talk about putting it in the current library. Perfect.
And then the library would go where?
Anonymous is the differentiator? That is the most ludicrous comment I've read in a long time.
Substitute pay will increase from 55.00 to 60.00. Yes that will attract more substitutes in Melrose ! 5.00 raise will do nothing at all to help alleviate the shortage.
FY15 school choice tuition rates are set at 75 percent of the FY14 operating cost per full-time equivalent pupil for the receiving school district, with a cap of $5,000.
Melrose receives 5K for each school choice student. Per pupil expenditure is higher than that. So how is it that Melrose isn't losing $$$ taking these kids in? If you're going to complain about not having $$$ SC, then maybe don't sign up for money losing propositions.
Many districts don't do it. Belmont, Weston, Winchester, Wayland, Newton, etc. You can draw your own conclusions.
These students from school choice are occupying available extra space - it is not costing the city anything extra. No additional teachers are hired, not additional resources are needed, just using existing resources. That is why it makes economical sense - don't understand why that is so difficult to understand! If you had watched the discussion at school committee meetings, you would have known this fact.
A stupid decision made by a stupid school committee. The choice was backed by a stupid city government officials and incompetent, stupid school administrators. I am so glad I voted NO on the override !
Please don't forget that this budget "crisis" is totally made up by the mayor, SC and Paymore. He made it clear that the override was for future cushioning and not for actually meeting the expenses of the schools.
This manufactured crisis is basically punishment for those who voted against the override. It is a temper tantrum and the kids suffer. Again.
Of course, Paymore is using this made up crisis to say this is all she can work on instead of actually dealing with real issues.
There needs to be a series of public town hall meetings where city and school officials answer all questions. The status of the MPS situation, including the budget, student numbers, IEP violations and the OCR findings must be addressed openly. The schools are in crisis and rumors, PR spin doctors and the avoidance approach is not working to solve Melrose's problems or heal this divided community.