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Newsletter 12/5/17

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100% Transportation Funding Campaign – If the goal of starting our campaign with an on-line petition was to quickly spread the word about I Am Wachusett itself and one of the district’s revenue problems, I’d say we reached it.As of this newsletter, we have 672 supporters of our change.org petition and this newsletter is being delivered to 5 new members – welcome!

Change.org was the first step in our multi-phase campaign to get more funding from the state.  We’ll soon move on to emphasizing letter-writing, e-mail, and phone campaigns. The main goal, however you choose to participate, is to make as much noise at the state level as possible, because budgets are being written NOW.   To see the many ways you can contact your state reps, go to iamwachusett.org and click “TAKE ACTION”.  We are currently targeting Governor Baker, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, House and Senate Chairs of the Joint Committee on Education, and the House and Senate Chairs of the Joint Committee on Ways and Means.

A hard copy petition is also ready to be circulated.  Even if you already signed the change.org petition, add your name to this one and encourage others to do so as well.  The petition can be found here if you’d like to print it out and start gathering some signatures.  The more evidence we have to show to the state that people care about this issue, the better!

Joint SC Meeting with Quabbin – Dr. Ben Tafoya, who was the chief researcher, spoke about Auditor Bump’s report on regional school districts.  His talk was followed by a question and answer session. If you’d like to watch, the meeting is available on-demand on holdentv.com.

Dr. Tafoya emphasized that his office has no authorization or budget to implement the recommendations in the report, but that “the only way people (at the state level) will remain interested is if you guys go out and advocate on behalf of the regional districts. If everyone wrote a letter, it would have an impact. These things rely on citizen action to get these changes.”

After the meeting, some of us who attended were lucky to be introduced to Stephen Hemman, Assistant Executive Director of the MA Association of Regional Schools.  He was pleased to hear about our group and our mission and was more than happy to share his knowledge with us.  He’ll be joining us at our meeting this Wednesday in Sterling.

Spreading the word – Rutland Festival of Trees was a great success!  Did anyone make it there to see our tree and wreath??? What a great event!

We’ll have tables at 2 area craft fairs this weekend.  Please sign up if you are available to help at either of the events. We’ll have hard copy petitions to sign, form letters to fill out, and pamphlets for people to take.  We just need friendly faces at the tables to greet people and answer questions about the campaign and IAW.

  • Davis Hill PTA Craft Fair on 12/9 – Sign up here.
  • Houghton PTO Holiday Fair on 12/9 – Sign up here.

Our next meeting – We are meeting THIS Wednesday, 12/6 @ 7pm at First Church in Sterling.  Even if you haven’t been able to attend before or haven’t been in a while, please come and join the conversation. We sit in a circle and discuss our ideas and we need new ideas all the time to keep the grassroots movement going!

We have some special guests joining for this meeting us to help us figure out how to best get the attention of the state, as well as some representatives from Sterling to discuss the particular issues that Sterling faces.  Invited guests are Representative Kim Ferguson, Maureen Cranson, Ross Perry, Steve Hemman, Representative Harold Naughton – District 2 Sterling, Representative-elect – District 1 Sterling, and Sarah LaMountain – WRSDSC rep.

4th Meeting Flyer Sterling

Filling seats—  Upcoming meetings:

  • Monday, 12/11  School Committee Meeting
  • Monday, 1/8 – WRSD Budget Retreat – This is a BIG one.  We need to spread the word about this one far and wide.  This is where you can speak to tell the school committee and administration what you think should be in next year’s budget.

You can always check our calendar for upcoming meetings.

That’s all for now. As always, thanks for your time and commitment to working toward getting the education our kids deserve!

Lauren

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