I think they understand full well the contempt and disgust. That's why they limit public participation to 5 minutes and use those ridiculous norms to stifle all opposition. I honestly think they just don't care. They are convinced they know better than anyone else, an attitude that starts with the "education expert".
I understand your sentiment, and in principle don't disagree, but I have huge problems with the funding mechanism, and I feel we should be putting all our effort into putting our own dysfunctional house in order first.
First, go back to the top of this thread and read "Unfunded Mandates", which describes what is happening with the State and why our state income tax will definitely go up if Question 2 passes.
On funding: Charters receive the cost per pupil (to educate) from each of the sending districts. For example with our local Charter, if it costs $11,000 per pupil in Melrose and $13,000 per pupil in Malden, $14,000 in Stoneham etc. that is what the Charter receives - not a flat rate per student.
However, it only costs the Charter $5,500 (approx.) to educate because they do not have many of the costs associated with public schools (high-end special education, unions, pensions, etc.). The Charter may do what it likes with the remainder of the $ - however it does not have to disclose ANY of it to the public. Yet the funding is with taxpayer dollars.
Many people have a problem with unions and other garbage that weighs down public schools. However, all of the garbage can be looked up with the click of a button on the town/city website under "BUDGET". You can vote in SC and City elections to try fix this - or, say vote down an override...
Not true with Charters. If you believe public schools could "learn a lesson" from Charters, how can this happen without sharing of information? And don't you think the public should have some insight into what is happening with public tax $$$? Those are some of the issues with the funding model.[/quote]
Let's be completely honest here! The city does get some financial reimbursements for each student lost - it's not that they get no money back from the state. Granted - this amount may change depending on the funding for this state account- which can last up to 6 years.
Also, parents should have a choice as to what schools they want their kids to go to - charter schools have special programs that public schools don't have and some parents want to take advantage of them. If public schools do a good job and pay attention to the needs of the parents and students - there would not be not issue here. The problem is - Melrose has serious senior school admin issues - and these show up as OCR complaints,threats to parents when parents demand more of the schools, and a city administration that supports law suits against parents who want more from their school system. Correct those deficiencies - and most of those kids in charter schools return to the MPS!
Wow...sounds like Really is very jealous of charter independence! I have a suggestion for you - go try to find out what is going on with the money the city spends on the schools and other such things - you will get stonewalled, chastised for wanting to know, or ask to spend $10,000 for copies of records! They hide everything in MUNIS cost centers that no one can make any sense of them!
If the charter schools were not producing good results - parents would not be lining up to participate in the lottery if they were not producing the results the parents are looking for - word gets around quickly - like in the Melrose public schools - where many parents are NOT satisfied with results! Nothing like good old competition to get things improved!
Melrose Resident, AKA Charter School Parent, are you being deliberately obtuse? Why do you characterize the poster's concern for the lack of fairness and accountability in charter funding as jealousy when he clearly acknowledges that the MPS system is a mess?
o.k....saying that both issues are different we can agree on - on one we can exert much influence - in the case of Melrose since we are all tax paying residents and vote - although most won't even take the time or effort to understand the school issues. While the other one involving charter reform - we have little or no control over!
We need many people to run for school committee who care more about ALL the students rather than their own self-serving needs. Honestly, I don't see this happening any time soon. We lost the only person who really cared about ALL the students, transparency in their deliberations, and the pursuit of educational excellence when CKK resigned! If she couldn't stand working with this bunch of self-serving, arrogant, authoritarian group - who the heck would? This is indeed a sad situation for the MPS - Margaret Driscoll has been a disaster for the SC and until she resigns or stops running - I don't honestly see anyone good running again! Sad - very sad!
You just can't help yourself, can you? The poster(s) wants to put a stop to an unfair and fiscally unsustainable funding scam - and it is a scam when they get more than twice the money from a sending district than it's cost them to educate that student - and you again resort to personal insults because you know you can't dispute the facts. Our first responsibility - and our most important one - is to the kids of Melrose. Yet you choose to behave like another left-wing liberal nutbag with a diaper rash.
What seems to be confusing people is the "spend down to the last cent" model of city government, especially the schools & the ability to actually manage funds appropriately.
Charter schools are given latitude in how they spend. They are still required to be accountable & they file reports with the state each year dislosing their financials.
MV posts their annual report on their public website & it includes its financials. Saying they aren't transparent isn't true. They are no less transparent than the Melrose School Committee. Take from that what you will.
Charter schools are responsible for every element of their school. Parking lot pavement replacing? Snow removal? Need for extra class space? The singular charter school budget needs to cover it.
There is no mayor bonding trailers or learning commons. There is no city funded/tax payer funded DPW landscaping, paving, plowing, etc.
MPS doesn't have to worry about many logistics that a charter school has to fund. MPS receives the money they receive from the state & the Melrose tax payers via the city and they spend d-o-w-n to the last penney each year.
Do not believe the stories the Melrose School Committee, the superintendent & the mayor tell you. These are scare tactics designed to make you satisfied with what you're getting and grateful to get that.
I'm not confused, and I don't believe anything either the Mayor or the SC spew. The fact remains that 1: the funding formula is seriously flawed, and 2. there are enough problems existing in Melrose that affect our own kids to keep us busy for 10 years trying to fix them. As another poster said, first we must "put our own house in order". If we do that not so many Melrose kids will choose a charter. Fix Melrose, fix the funding formula, then talk to me about more charters. Voting no on 2.
More typical Melrose bull$hit. So I'm myopic, narrow-minded, gullible, delusional, and self-serving am I? This is what you get from the typical Melrose resident who resorts to this kind of garbage when they can't argue the facts. 1. Melrose is at it's enrollment limit at MV. 2. The funding formula is seriously flawed. 3. None of the proposed new charters will accept any Melrose students, but they will gladly take Melrose money in the form of state tax increases, which, BTW, I won't pay a dime of since I am a retired municipal employee and I'm exempt from state income tax. I'm advocating for the kids of Melrose, and trying to save YOU money, airhead.
We can change things - not by giving our local "education experts" more money to squander, but by getting rid of them altogether. It would probably help if you took a reading comprehension course. If you can manage for a minute to pull your head out of your a$$, show me where I advocated giving them more money. And as far as challenging "them" to be better - we're way past that. They have clearly demonstrated, as have you, that they and you are incapable of anything better. Voting no on 2.
This topic vote no chapter 2 has become a battle between two posters
without much insight.
To No on 2-You are very naive. Do you really think you'll throw them all out and change the system. It doesn't happen that way. If Question 2 is defeated it just gives the "same old same old" more power. They, and I mean the teachers unions and
education department need to constantly be challenged. They never improve voluntarily. Competition is the only way they change.
Sorry, but No on 2 is correct. So-called "competition" from MV hasn't done a single thing to instigate change. If anything, since MV opened, things have gotten worse, not better, and I have zero hope that any improvement with the current crop of half-wits in place is even possible. They need to go. All of them, from the top to the bottom.
Agreed. Dolan tried that cockamamie override, and it got shot down. That doesn't stop them though. They just make up a bond proposal, like with the "learning commons" and now for the modulars, and ram it down our throats anyway, since the B of A doesn't have the stones to stop it. The very last thing I want is to give them any more money - it's throwing good money after bad.
We're talking about two distinct issues here. Stop muddying the waters by trying to link them. Fixing the charter funding formula has nothing to do at all with MPS, other than the financial drain. Voting no.
Still chuckling over the MV is financially transparent comment.
Wish we could post photos on this site. We could start with one of their state of the art pool and gymnasium facility - which by the way they CHARGE Melrose HS swim team to use...even though it was funded by tax dollars from Melrose, Malden, Stoneham...
My final thoughts on this matter: Most of us seem to agree that by giving this existing Melrose school admin more money will not improve the educational outcomes because of who is at the helm of the school district, Taymore - this includes the current school committee members. Also, I think honestly, we know that the charter formula will take time, if ever, to get changed. So with that said - why would anyone still vote no and take the option away from so many kids, in the inner urban cities, who are waiting in line to participate in a lottery which - to some of these kids - is their only way out of potential poverty? Certainly this situation does not exist for the average student in Melrose (except for those who are in METCO).
Why would anyone still vote no? For every single reason listed in this thread, the main one being:
Because there is no way to fund all these new Charter schools without
further damaging the public schools that still have to serve the children who don't win the lottery or have needs that cannot be met by Charter Schools.
Come up with an economic plan that addresses all of these factors and then ask for an increase in Charters.
Just received my 10th email this week from the desperate union president- begging for more people to come and knock on doors, make phone calls (my union dues are now paying for the "pizza and drinks" that will sustain the phone bank participants), and stand outside with signs to defeat Question 2. You can feel her sweaty forehead through the computer. These people are terrified. Anything that terrifies the union to its very core has to be a good thing. Voting yes, because I am sick of being part of the problem. I love people who try to tell me that the funding model is "flawed". I cannot begin to count the number of things that are flawed in financing public education. For 30 years, I have watched the public schools as they are allowed to waste, waste, and waste some more, but then they want to call out the funding model because it takes money away from them. Maybe they should stop wasting what they have, and they could provide for their students and keep people from wanting more charter options.
Couldn't agree more with previous poster. If the 2 million that Melrose has to pay for its Mystic Valley 220 (±) students were spent locally (which doesn't figure in the Chapter 70 funds the district still collects), why should anyone believe that this utterly corrupt and incompetent administration would have spent it correctly and for the best interests of the students? Answer: it is virtually a guarantee that the MPS would have spent the funds in a way that few would think was responsible, that is if we ever got to see the true accountability that in fact does not exist under this school committee, mayor, BOA and administration. Accountability is just a mirage here. It's all smoke and mirrors, hiding the corruption and rank incompetence. Voting Yes.
And once again the conversation returns back to Melrose. It's a State of MA vote. Decision doesn't affect Melrose at all. We are at the cap.
Vote yes if:
- You are OK with ZERO control over how much and where your tax money is spent
by Charter Schools
- Have blind-faith in those schools and schools to come
- Have certainty that Charter Schools are "saving urban children from a life
- Have absolutely no concern about your state income tax going up
Vote No if:
- You would like to see the entire funding model reviewed
- You would like the entrance (lottery) model reviewed
- You want more Charter "innovation" passed on to public schools
- Have some uncertainty about whether or not Charters actually help "urban
children in poverty" over the long-term
- Enjoy some level of control over your tax dollars (both income and property).
Thanks for that. Unfortunately, this is the foolishness typical of the Yes on 2 supporters:
I heard the Melrose school committee voted to spend about $5,000,000 just to build 4 kindergarten classrooms. They will hold fewer than 100 students. They already spend about $12,000 each year on those students-- the same amount we pay the charter school. The state pays for the buildings separately for the charter schools. We don't pay for them. We save $5,000,000.
If all new incoming students go to Melrose public instead of the charter, more classrooms would have to be built at $50,000 per student prices and Melrose would still have to pay $12,000 to educate each of them. It's far cheaper sending them to the charter.
For crying out loud, are you not listening? Melrose is at it's cap. We can't send them to a charter. But since Question 2 is a statewide question, if it passes we'll be paying for it anyway.
It does nobody any good to ignore facts that don't fit your agenda.
Why don't you go check with the City of Melrose. Yes, we are almost at the internal cap on how many students from the City can attend the Charter with reimbursement from the City. The point is giving MV more students won't impact Melrose in any significant way. It will have a much bigger impact on cities and towns without Charters already.
I think that this is a very good discussion regarding this ballot question, and although I feel that there are good points being made for either vote, I'm sorry to say that the deciding factor for me is that if the teacher's union is against it, I'm for it.
So you're going to cast your ballot not based on the merits but on who's for or against it? That's truly frightening.
Not Hoover. Beebe, which absolutely should have been used to solve this space problem--or the Franklin--for Melrose students instead of this new spending scheme (and the $200,000/year that the district gets for rent is another whole scam since we are paying utilities, snow removal, etc. and this building--and Ripley--were supposedly saved for our own students to use; and no, it's not about SmartBoards either, as RD claimed). And yes, stupidity in action once again. Mayor is tossing some vote-getting goodies to the Horace Mann by committing at least $1.5 million in "renovations" for that school in this new bonding bundle (only the first $400,000 for the "design" work bonded so far--what a boondoggle for this patronage fake-bid "process"). That Horace Mann project was never included in what the "public hearing" last May (you know, that trumped-up 8 am Margaret Driscoll/MEF special, with only canned questions/answers allowed). There has been zero public process around this newly proposed and quickie approved Horace Mann boondoggle, just another bunch of hooey (amplified by the power-abusing, restraining-order principal who insisted that "security" is the big issue there, so that new entryways simply had to be created immediately--probably jealous of Jenny Corduck's newly fashioned Hoover digs to match her miniskirts and window treatments). Can't worry about those silly members of the public seeking a legitimate public process when "security" is at stake. Denise Gaffney (city planner) admitted under questioning that the Horace Mann part of this new bond is at least (!) a third of the cost. That was absolutely never part of what was proposed last spring, and it should not have been allowed in this current bonding quickie vote that just went down (if the BOA had any backbone in their oversight role, which it obviously does not have, since they're more worried about politics than their fiduciary responsibilities).
The Franklin would have been the other totally sensible solution, since there is only one classroom's worth of students needing services according to Title 1. They could have been moved into the Beebe (that currently houses special needs students from SEEM). Instead, Taymore has converted the whole ECC into an "inclusive" school which means that basically every pre-school student is in a program designed for those with special needs, with far more staff and expensive accommodations than is required for a population of general students. The taxpayers are only obligated to be paying for that handful of students, and yet now the whole thing has become a Boutique Preschool, with ridiculous tuition for parents and using fancy renovated space that is needed for the regular population, making it ideal for a kindergarten overflow space. Instead of using the space we already have for this vague and probably temporary elementary enrollment bubble, we are now going to have to pay $4.5 million (and up, since they don't really know the upward limits of this boondoggle project), once again screwing secondary education and focusing resources in the wrong place. The ECC used to be a district money-maker, but not any more.
Bottom Line: RD and MEF are in the business of buying votes from the gullible Birth to Five group, meaning that the Designer ECC matters a whole lot more than accountability to the taxpaying public who must now foot the bill for yet another stupidly conceived many-million-dollar project, once again catering to the parents of the "babies" and leaving the high school without appropriate staff, cutting key department chair positions, etc. (RD threw some vote-getting crumbs at the MHS parents with the "Learning Commons" boondoggle, a stupidly conceived $5.3 million-dollar boondoggle. As anyone who looks beyond the surface will find, those $6.6-million-dollar Science Labs did absolutely nothing to improve the district's Science scores, speaking of badly conceived and executed boondoggles.)
Trying to post anything about the bigger picture is futile on this Board. It always comes back to complaints about Melrose. There are many, many towns and cities in MA. Many have high-functioning school districts and teacher unions. Many do not.
Voting yes is not going to impact teacher unions in any significant way - and it certainly will do absolutely NOTHING in Melrose. Haven't you read the 99 other posts?
First of all Resident, you got it backwards. What the poster actually said was "I'm sorry to say that the deciding factor for me is that if the teacher's union is against it, I'm for it."
Secondly, the poster who said that it is frightening that you would cast your ballot based on what someone else's position is, rather than on the facts of the issue is absolutely correct. That's not critical thinking. It's intellectual laziness of the worst kind, absolutely typical of the average Melrose voter, and a total abdication of your civic responsibility.
I'm voting yes not because of what anyone else supports or doesn't support, not because I think the SC is a bunch of ignorant morons, and not because I think the Mayor is a disgusting megalomaniac, but because I think it's the right thing to do.
Oh - you mean those same Melrose voters who year after year elect the same gaggle of morons to the SC, the same feckless GIC-grabbing slime to the B of A, and the same megalomaniacal fraud as Mayor? Those voters?
Yup. The same voters who continue to vote in people who support $6.5 million science labs that have done nothing to improve science scores, $5.3 million learning commons (when someone figures out what that is actually supposed to do, please let me know), and now $4.5 for trailers and "security" upgrades to the worst school in the city. $16.3 million totally wasted, and for what? To buy votes from the ignorant lemmings that make up most of the Melrose voting public.
I'm voting Yes on 4 because that sanctimonious twit Margaret Driscoll had the nerve to post that the Melrose SC was against 4 like that's something to be proud of.
What's the SC stance on #3? They like citizens to pay more so it's probably Yes. Voting No.
Yes on 2 all the way.
Ha - thanks for making my point. Melrose taxpayers voted for the Middle School renovations. Like it or not, Melrose taxpayers elected the mayor, and the SC who make the decisions on the bonds.
No one mentioned using schools for free for personal events. The students in Melrose schools that play sports use the gymnasiums and do not pay a fee to use their own gymnasium.
Melrose Rec is a separate entity and not a "school". In fact students from MV, and every other school are welcome to play any Melrose Rec sports, in the gym and on the fields if they live in Melrose.
Not a single person in Melrose had or will have a say in anything that is purchased or built by MV, yet their tax dollars pay for a portion of everything - to the tune of 2.2 million a year. That is the distinction. Charging Melrose to swim hardly seems "collaborative".
Looking at the Melrose Rec Guide to Programs:
Middle School Basketball complete with tryouts
Are these not the official team(s) of the middle school?
I have been told by the rec dept itself that part of the high price to play $385 for boys and $415 for girls is because they have to pay to use the school gym in Melrose.
Was only interested in boys but why is girls more? Someone else can fight that battle.
MV didn't take $2 million from Melrose to build a pool but true, they did build a gym & pool because they didn't have a gym. No gym whatsoever.
Do they need a pool? I don't know. Malden HS has one. The vocational school in Wakefield has one. If Melrose could have found a better deal hopefully they'd take it. Should MV let Melrose & the other sending districts use it for free? Probably.