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Newsletter — 5/10/18

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100 % Transportation Funding Campaign

The Senate Ways and Means budget was released today. The line item for RSD transportation funding reimbursement (which should be around $86 million to be at 100% reimbursement) was decreased back to the House Ways & Means number. It’s not great news, but in the past 2 budget cycles, they have brought it all the way back down to the Governor’s number. As always, there is still hope. Again, there will be amendments filed by Senators for an increase in transportation funding for the final Senate budget. They have to hear us loud and clear to know that we need more and expect this number to be larger in the final Senate budget.
Again, Support MA Regional Schools will be coordinating these efforts.  See below if you haven’t heard of them already.
 

Support MA Regional Schools

There are nearly 1300 members representing 20+ districts in the Facebook group, Support MA Regional Schools. All or most of I Am Wachusett’s state-wide advocacy efforts will be coordinated with them. Strength in numbers! I Am Wachusett is heavily involved in the planning for the group, so it will always align with our own goals. Join the group or follow along at www.supportmaregionalschools.org.

Wachusett Update

Town meetings began this Monday.

STERLING passed all three of the articles concerning the WRSD, which are:

  • the WRSD budget
  • the over-due replacement of the turf field at WRHS
  • much needed repairs to the Jefferson School parking lot, where the ECC and district offices are located.

PAXTON passed the WRSD budget, but it is contingent on an override vote during town elections on Monday 5/14. Paxton residents must get to the polls on Monday and vote YES on Question 2 for Paxton’s YES vote to stick for the WRSD budget, or you have until Friday at noon to fill out an absentee ballot. Last year, an override passed in Ashburnham-Westminster by 1 vote and recently in Douglas by 12 votes. EVERY VOTE COUNTS!!!
Paxton said YES to the parking lot repairs, but NO to the turf field replacement. The Director of Finance said that all 5 towns had to vote YES for this to be funded, so the turf field at WRHS that has an 8-10 year life span and is currently 12 years old, will most likely go another year without being replaced.

Three town meetings yet to come:

RUTLAND – This Saturday 5/12! If you are in town, you MUST get to this meeting to vote for the WRSD budget. There is a plan to amend the number from the floor, which means that before the vote, someone will stand up to amend the number to what I’ve heard is around $140,000 LESS than the WRSD is asking. For the FULL WRSD assessment to be approved, this amendment must first be voted down and then the FULL number must get a YES vote.
If Rutland approves the lower number, it will mean that cuts might be made to the district budget, IF another town votes NO (i.e. if Paxton doesn’t vote YES to question 2 on Monday) or Princeton or Holden vote NO.***
So, yes, it is a bit confusing, but please be clear, that the most important thing is to be in attendance at this meeting and vote. Bring as many friends and neighbors as you can round up to support the WRSD budget.
***If any of this information needs to be corrected, please let us know!
The Warrant for Town Meeting can be found here: http://www.townofrutland.org/Pages/RutlandMA_News/060565BD-000F8513.1/5-12-18%20ATM%20Warrant.docx

FB event for Rutland if you’d like to share: https://www.facebook.com/events/1793670480694087/

PRINCETON – Your Town Meeting is Tuesday 5/15.
The warrant can be found here: http://www.town.princeton.ma.us/Pages/PrincetonMA_TownWarrant/ATM051518warrantpdf

FB event for Princeton if you’d like to share: https://www.facebook.com/events/496765460725457/

HOLDEN – Your town meeting is Monday, 5/21.
The warrant can be found at the Town of Holden website when available.

FB event for Holden if you’d like to share: https://www.facebook.com/events/577930485904847/

Yard Signs — Love seeing them all around. Apologies if you asked for one and didn’t get one. We have some more if you still want one, but we can also store them and hand them out next year. Always a budget to get passed!

Fliers – We have plenty of printed fliers to be handed out. We’d love it if anyone from Paxton or Rutland wanted some to hand out this weekend – maybe at ball fields, maybe before Rutland town meeting, or anywhere else. Let us know and we can get you a stack.

These fliers really lay out why we need our budgets to pass, so getting that information might motivate people to get to the polls or to Town Meeting. Click here to see the flier if you haven’t.

District Comparisons Flyer DRAFT (1)

IAW Meetings – Besides a great, last minute event planned at Specialty Sandwich in Holden to hand out yard signs, meetings have been difficult to schedule. Most likely, there won’t be any more IAW meetings this school year or over the summer. It’d be great to have another general meeting in the Fall to start another year of advocacy.

​Filling seats — Upcoming meetings:

Saturday, 5/12 – RUTLAND Town Meeting
Tuesday, 5/15 – PRINCETON Town Meeting
Monday, 5/21 – HOLDEN Town Meeting
Thursday, 5/24 – WRSD School Committee Meeting – 7pm – WRHS Media Center

You can always check our calendar for upcoming meetings.

Email with questions or comments any time.

As always, thanks for your time and commitment to working toward getting the education our kids deserve!

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