Just a few pieces of information to share on this beautiful morning:
1. Tonight is the Weymouth Annual Town Meeting http://www.weymouth.ma.us/home/news/annual-town-meeting-may-12-2014 -- Members who live in Weymouth are strongly encouraged to attend. The Mayor has once again slashed the modest school operating budget by $500,000 meaning our FY15 operating budget is below level service. That means cuts. And, as you all know they are not cutting "fat" (or even muscle, and they cut into bone last year) ---so this budget is a disaster for our district. There will be a reduction in staff -- likely through attrition, meaning retirees or members who leave the district will not be replaced -- and a reduction in the materials and services that enable us to educate the children in an appropriate way. The Massachusetts Secretary of Education Matt Malone informed Dr. Salim in my presence that "things are looking great for schools in Mass--anything that wasn't cut in 2009 is here to stay, and now schools are beginning to increase their budgets once again." So, why is this not the case for Weymouth? Weymouth residents, especially parents, need to hold town leaders accountable, or the status quo will remain.
2. And speaking of changing the status quo -- after a 3 year grass-roots campaign by a group called "Educators for a Democratic Union"-- Barbara Madeloni was elected president of the Massachusetts Teachers Association at this weekend's annual meeting. This is a NY Times profile of Madeloni from October of 2012 that reveals much about our new president.http://mobile.nytimes.com/2012/10/01/booming/01winerip-booming.html. Barbara campaigned on a platform of empowering teachers to stand up for themselves against the onslaught of initiatives like Educator Evaluation, RETELL, and PARCC -- that are really not in the best interest of ourselves or our students, but have been thus far out of our control to change.
3. Finally, on a most happy note, you should have all received an invitation to the WEA's Friends of Education party on May 20th. This year, in addition to honoring several teachers who have reached career milestones, the WEA is honoring Marie and Vincent Jankord. Part of our tradition is to honor the Jankords with messages of gratitude from our members. If you have been personally touched by the Jankords generosity, please send me a note of thanks. In addition to sharing your messages in their entirety, I will quote from them during the introduction speech given during the celebration.
Thank you and have a great week!