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Newsletter 2/8/18

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​100% Transportation Funding Campaign –  3,000 signatures on the on-line petition!!!
Unfortunately Governor Baker didn’t hear our pleas.  He level funded transportation funding.  No increase from last year!   
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The fight’s not over though.  His is the first draft of the budget and it goes through lots of hearings and debates before the final version gets back to his desk. Here’s a run-down of the process.
Currently there are hearings about the budget being conducted by the Joint Committee on Ways and Means.  See some exciting news about that in the next section.  If you can, go to iamwachusett.org and contact those on these committees, particularly Senator Karen Spilka and Rep. Jeffrey Sanchez.  If you’re feeling extra motivated, anyone on the Joint Committee on Ways and Means wouldn’t be bad to contact about this matter either.
There was success just today on another issue which affects our funding.  Bill S223 came favorably out of the Education Committe, which means it moves on to the next steps and we may finally get a modernized foundation budget, fixing the funding formula!!!
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Support MA Regional Schools – Triton RSD is currently in a budget crisis and one of their citizens started a Facebook group to get all of us RSDs working together.  They reached out because they were impressed with our efforts and excited to have us join them.  If you would like, join the Facebook group at www.facebook.com/groups/355108181631585 ​.  It’s just getting started!
 
Mass Association of Regional Schools(MARS) – Not only has MARS invited us to present at their 2/13 meeting, but they’ve also now invited us to testify to the Joint House Ways and Means Committee on 2/27.  This hearing focused on education will be held in Peabody.  More details to follow.  If you can, please try to come to this meeting in particular.  We can join others to show our support for regional school districts across the state.  Who’s in?  
 
Local Planning – It’s really getting to that time when we need to transfer some of our focus toward our local issues.
Here are some things to think about for planning….and please e-mail us with any thoughts or ideas – we’ll need help when it comes to pulling these things together.
  • Yard signs– Would you pay a small fee to purchase a yard sign saying that you support the WRSD budget?  Replay yes, or reply on Facebook.  We’ll need to order a certain amount, so we need to know that there’s interest.  Also, if you have any ideas what it should say, let us know that as well.
  • Town meeting – One of our concerns throughout this movement was helping people to understand town meeting so that they will attend and vote.  
  • Getting information out to the citizens about the current state of our district.  What do we have, what should we have based on research, what do we have in comparison to other schools???
    • As a slight side note to this, I compared a 4th grader’s elementary school to that of one in the hometown of a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.  If this 4th grader went to that public school, he’d have a librarian, computer lab and tech. teacher, the opportunity to learn an instrument through the school band, a dedicated 4th grade guidance counselor, and have had free-full day kindergarten.  I know there are so many factors when it comes to school funding, but this difference was pretty striking to me.  
Our Next Meeting – We’ll get to rescheduling as soon as we can and let you all know when we can have that meeting in Princeton.
 
Filling seats —  Upcoming meetings:
  • Monday, 2/12 – Annual Budget Hearing – 7pm @ WRHS Media Center – At this meeting,  the budget book will be revealed and discussed.  Be there for this first real discussion of the realities of the budget and how the Governor’s budget affects our students.
As you’ve been told, the administration of the WRSD will be presenting their budget priorities to the finance committees and advisory boards of each of the 5 towns.  The dates were set up and then many changed.  These are currently the confirmed dates.
Your presence will signal to the finance committee as well as any selectmen who attend that the WRSD budget is a priority to you as a citizen.
You can always check our calendar for upcoming meetings.
If you can’t make it to these meetings, here’s a few ways to see them:
Email with questions or comments any time.  
 
As always, thanks for your time and commitment to working toward getting the education our kids deserve!  
  1. Paula Halligan Paula Halligan

    I’m in for yard signs!

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