Well folks - we have the same old, tired, refrain from Superintendent Taymore: cut-backs to major programs, new fees to be enacted as well as increased fees, elimination of departments and consolidation of others, and of course, more professional development which means less teacher time in class! Is she serious? And this is a budget that is going to move our school district forward into the 21st century - really? Please take the time to review this budget at http://d1868cr0a5jrv6.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/FY17-Budget-Draft-4-updated-05-04-2016-1-.pdf.
Here is an interesting tidbit on page 4 under Contractual Obligations. Our school administrators are already giving into union demands by stating that the union is already asking that more money be added to automatic teacher step increases - this is above what they will get for COLA increases! If you all recall 3 years ago, these step raises were increased on average 25% over the 3 years of the contract above what they got for a COLA increase! Also, they say that the union is asking for an expansion of stipends paid to teachers which means more money to pay out - and they want to increase the substitute teacher daily pay from $50 to $70. Tell me -when was the last time over a 3 year period did you get a 25% pay raise - and that's assuming you had a job that required you to work 39 weeks a year with 21 days off for school vacations not including their own vacation and sick times as well as professional development time off.
If the contract being negotiated turns out as bad for the district as it was last year - that is - a major pay raise for teachers, more professional development time which means less time in the classroom, early dismissal before holidays, no additional accountability, requiring more cutbacks in programs and teachers - then more parents will be sending their kids to charter schools or other private schools in the coming years.
My family voted NO on the Override because of the OCR problems, the SC/MPS Administration and the BOA/Water and Sewer money issues. None of these people know their asses from their elbows. We are liberal democrats who voted NO on the Override and send our kids to Catholic Schools. Unprofessional antics and incompetence scream from "leaders" in this city. Those of us who would be expected to support government and spending are becoming fewer. The devious decisions made in this city and the lack of public involvement currently mirrors the crazy political environment in the USA. I will vote for HIllary (not enthusiastically) but worry that the lack of political involvement and anger at every level of government across the country could very well elect Donald Trump.
It has gotten very interesting here in Melrose. our superintendent, our Mayor, and of course the school committee always looking for new fees to charge us parents. If the budget is that tight, why would you give the superintendent a raise, when the summer begins and everybody is away? I can tell you why, none of you have the you know whats to say no to a raise. It's almost like you warship the ground she walks on. Here's the big question for all of us in the community. How much is the superintendent costing us in legal fees, because of her misjudgement? But better yet, she doesn't even know, because she has hired the best of the best, but the sad part about all of this, us tax payers are on the line for this. Because she doesn't even know what she's being billed for. Because the way she negotiated her contract with these people. Then of course we have the public relations firm that she hired. That's $10,000 or more. And especially if they have to work overtime. So what does this tell us about our superintendent? I find it almost impossible with her education and being a superintendent and licensed, that she needs to use a public relations firm. To speak for herself, the city of Melrose, and the school system. It's pretty sad that Margaret Driscoll thought it was a great idea (for some of you she's the chair of the Melrose School Committee.)Just shows you that the superintendent is in charge and she's not accountable to the school committee like she should be. Lets add to that a little bit. She was asked a question not too long ago, about the rules and regulations in regards to students and parents, about giving proper notice about suspensions, or anything else to go along with that and you know how she answered it? She didn't answer it. She felt the school committee members didn't deserve an answer. She had been put on notice for the past two years now, that she is not in compliance with the law. With the students rights, and the parents right, we all have to understand, these children are under 18 years old and even under 21 years old and they are protected under the law. So when in the hell, is the Melrose School Committee and our mayor, are going to do the right thing and address this issue? Yes, you Mr. Mayor Dolan. We are going to wait until it effects your own children, then you will do something about this. Some of you might think that I am stepping over the line, I am sure not doing that. Mr. Mayor; have you forgotten about the folks in this community, the children in this community? Maybe our city solicitor and the school attorney need to be educated on the law. Oh yes, I'm calling them both out. Why not? Nobody else has. The interesting question here, Mr. Mayor, maybe our city solicitor is doing what you want him too do because you hired him, and he is an elected official in Everett. Maybe you think that this is not going anywhere, think twice. You never know. Once again, this goes back to money being tight. The message that was delivered to the city of Melrose back in December 2015, the citizens voted no on the override because they don't trust any of you. You think that we're a bunch of fools out here, yeah you can say that you don't read the board, we all read the board. The big question becomes, our superintendent has been found guilty, or the city whatever way you want to put it of civil rights violations. I always thought a student would come first, but apparently that's not the case here. The big question for all of us in the community is; 'how do we make Melrose a better public schools system, going up against the Charter schools?' First thing that I can think of is offering something better that the Charter school doesn't offer, but maybe you folks forgot that you are in competition. You do a lot of crying about how much money goes to the Charter schools and vocational schools because the product that they have is no good. Why do I say that? It's very simple. Just look at the board, look at all that's been said. People are talking about real things, but the Melrose Schooll committee and our Mayor and our superintendent don't realize that we do have the pulse of what's going on here. Protect the administration, and tell the parents, you're not going to do anything. People speak at public participation, at the school committee meetings and if you don't like what they're saying, you cut them off after five minutes. But if you have somebody who works for the city, or a person that you really like, they can talk well beyond the five minutes. I think we call that discrimination. That's just an opinion. But the board seems to echo that. So my message to the Melrose School Committee, our superintendent, our Mayor (because the mayor sits on the school committee), why don't you just be honest with all of us in the community. And you may be able to fix some of the problems. Let me add to this a little, Margaret Driscolls blog, is somewhat out of line. She's talking about school committee business if you read it for what it is. It's been on this blog, it's a joke. It's too bad, when you look at the minutes of the school committee and you look at her blog, what a coincidence. In my closing words, to all new elected officials of the Melrose School Committee; if you don't challenge the superintendent and question her morals on what she's doing, nothing is going to change. It has been mentioned on the blog, that she should be fired. Because what is has cost this community, it seems that the school committee and our mayor worships the ground that she walks on and she can't do anything wrong. Oh yes, this is definitely going to hit a nerve of some folks but grow up. The facts always speak for themselves, you can't make this **** up. For all of you, and I mean all of you in this community, just watch how the melrose school committee conducts itself on tv, very little questions about anything. It's almost like its been rehearsed because it seems to me, they don't want us to know anything. Let's go back to one more thing; they want parents to pay for fees or clubs that their children might not even belong to, that's not a tax, that's basically picking peoples pockets. Folks in this community should not give any money to the PTO's forget it. Why bother giving any money? People bend over backwards to help out the Melrose School System. My last words: Mr. Mayor this is getting even more funny, you keep on talking about the override, and how it didnt go through, and how there wont be another override, has it occurred to you that, the people no longer trust you? that's the way that I look at it, I could be wrong. The city has a surplus and all of a sudden it vanishes? Some of you may not like what I said, and some of you will agree with me, but here's the real kicker; the truth speaks for itsself what's going on in Melrose.
Subs make less than min wage? You could work at the mall & make more $$$? Or babysit one or two children, not 28 for more $$$?
Budget charade continues tonight in the chambers and on MMTV. Deep pretend concern by the school committee members about the reduction of 3 directors and how it will impact the students. Get ready for budget Override 2.0 in the near future; believe me its in the works. We've seen this before. Scare the MEF and all the mommies of younger kids into voting yes. Be ready.
They all reluctantly approve the current budget but have "serious concerns" about the resources (Boo..hoo) but where were they when Taymore and Van Campen were spending hundreds and thousands of dollaars in legal fees defending their indefensible actions,sticking their noses up to the US Department od Education, Office of Civil Rights?.
Sadly, the committee let themselves be buffaloed by the mayor and alderman into being given a budget figure they must work within. That's not the way it should work. They should be developing and supporting a budget recommendation and presenting it to the alderman. Let the aldermen and mayor be the bad guys and vote no on the school committee's recommendation after having a 3.5 million budget surplus disappear into various slush funds.. It is time for the committee to get some balls and do their job.
None of them are doing their job. They whine and complain but make no effort to change anything make the superintendent fix the schools, or go against the mayor. Crocodile tears, they cry.
Deselm - "bitter pill to swallow" ???
Mayor - "only way to achieve objectives is to increase taxes to fund schools"
Mayor - "only move the cups around so many times"
After seeing their outrageous behavior over the last three years no one should be surprised that the superintendent and her "crack city legal counsel" knowingly and willingly provide false information about student and parent rights under state law on the school website and student handbooks. They have repeatedly been made aware of the improper definitions of "aggressor" and "bullying" on the school website's bullying and harassment policy at http://melroseschools.com/families/student-support-services/bullying-prevention-and-intervention/#sthash.0HiWGzfQ.dpbs
are in violation of State law as they flagrantly remove teachers and administrators as possible aggressors/perpetrators and retaliators from the State's mandated definition at MGL CH 71 Sec 370. One could only assume that they pulled all district personnel out of the State mandated definitions so that parents would not be aware that the serious behavior we have seen of late from the superintendent, assistant superintendent, certain teachers, principals and city solicitors is a violation of state law.
supt - does she ever stop congratulating herself?
First the mayor says there is no money. Then he says he'll get $50,000 in July. Then he'll find millions in free cash.
Dissolve the SC. Fire the Super. The mayor doesn't need any help. He can tell the lies all by himself.
That $50,000 they found to eliminate the fees was found in one of the Mayor's rabbit hats - he has a bunch of them just waiting for another such moment!
I take it that the Mayor won't be 'introducing you' at this year's 4th concert! [:)]
All you MEFers and pro-tax people can still donate though.I'm sure your $35 won't be turned down. You could create an optional donation fund.
Is the idea less appealing now that the kids that don't utilize the school's extra-curriculars don't have to pay?
Hello Melrosians how are all of you doing? I can't hep but read the board and so many things have happened, I'll quote the mayor, "I want the override but I don't need it"Things are not the same at this time may.
Free Press: Dolan said – as he has repeatedly – that while he will continue to look for additional funding, increased taxes are the only long-term solution to improve the schools.
“The only way to achieve the goals that we have set out is increased revenue through additional taxation,” Dolan said. “Just because [the property tax override] lost at the ballot doesn’t mean it’s not true.”
This knucklehead just doesn't get it, does he?
Listen up, Mr. Mayor - putting your own house in order is your number 1 priority. Until you do that, no matter how many times you say more tax revenue is necessary, it's not going to happen. Exactly what part of that do you so foolishly and stubbornly not get? Stop stamping your foot like a spoiled brat and do the job you were elected to do.