Once again the town is declaring that they have insufficient revenue to support education for next year. This pattern is similar to past years (see funding trends: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B-OyrwYZnUPHRWFoaVdzMnpLc1E/edit ). While we are meeting net school spending for FY15, the mayor's proposed budget falls short of a level service budget by roughly $500K. This shortfall, combined with $365K in state mandates that the district must meet next year (ESL teachers, Math teachers, and SEI training) has resulted in an $865,000 deficit.
Weymouth is one of the most underfunded districts in the state. This year we ranked 306 out of 323 school districts in Massachusetts in our net school spending https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B-OyrwYZnUPHNkY0U3ZqLXB0T2c/edit (we are on page 7). As educators we have felt these cuts for the past few years, both in our classrooms and in our wallets. Continuing in this paradigm of funding education will hurt our students, the community, and our livelihood.
Over the years, there has been a growing community effort to change this negligent pattern of funding. This effort has resulted in one time funding allotments to the school system. These funds come from the town's free cash and are not available until after the start of school when the chapter 70 money comes in from the state. While this funding has allowed the district to purchase one time items, it does not allow for new classrooms to be created or personnel to be hired.
We are asking you to join in a community movement to advocate that the schools be funded appropriately. There have been several town councilors who have proposed viable options to make this happen. On Wednesday night, June 11th, the school committee will present to the town council budget committee the cuts the district is proposing to make up the $865K deficit. The meeting is at 6:00 in the Town Hall. We are looking for strong WEA representation at this meeting. There will not be public comment, but a physical presence will send a powerful message that this budget is not acceptable.
Within the next two weeks there will be a town meeting for the town council to vote on the mayor's budget. We need to have strong representation at this meeting as well. More information regarding the second meeting will follow
We need to work with community leaders now, to garner the appropriate level of support from the town for our students, the schools, and our members.
Mary Lou Buell, President
Ydana Chella, President-Elect
Maggie Murphy, Vice President-Elect
President - WEA