Letter-- Budget cuts hurting town schools

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Letter-- Budget cuts hurting town schools

Postby joe179 » Sun Feb 11, 2007 11:25 am

I read with interest the Letter to the Editor in the Telegraph. It seems to echo the sentiments of many folks in town regarding the agenda of certain "slash and burn" group(s) to propose budget cuts using scare tactics and misinformation to reach an arbitrary bottom line:
[quote]
Merrimack budget cuts hurting town schools
Published: Sunday, Feb. 11, 2007

In last week’s Merrimack Journal, Mary Stipe thanked members of Merrimack’s Budget Committee who are trying to “. . . find ways to decrease the budget in an effort for Merrimack’s citizens to afford their tax burden . . .â€
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Postby Michael Pelletier » Mon Feb 12, 2007 3:38 pm

"Many folks in town" also voted to end the library capital reserve fund, as well as voting for the lower town budget. Many folks in town can therefore be reasonably estimated to be fed up with the default-budget ratchet where they can choose between a higher budget, and an even higher budget.

"Pick the pockets" - oh, that's rich. Nearly every dime the school gets is taken from the public under threat of force, and we're the ones committing larceny?

The school budget has doubled, and still, that's not enough, they want $1,000 to replace a microwave oven that's somehow become unusable, and buy 15 headsets.

Will we wind up paying twice the out-of-state tuition of a major university before they're finally satisfied? Experience elsewhere in the country seems to suggest the answer is no, it'll be even higher than that.
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Postby Jeannine Stergios » Mon Feb 12, 2007 3:51 pm

Michael

It's a joke. The sense of entitlement held by some people is shocking to me.

[quote]I suggest that instead of trying to pick the pocket of public education, look at your own budget and see if you can “trim some fat,â€
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Postby RBarnes » Mon Feb 12, 2007 3:53 pm

while there are some valid points to both sides of the coin the problem we face now is more due to enrollment.

Most of the positions if not all were cut not to save money but more because of enrollment dropping.

And with each teacher position cut the school board had to choose which classes were cut as a result. This is the problem with the one size fits all mentality of education we now have.

If my kids are in band, music is the most important and I'd fight to keep the music teachers from being cut.

If your kid is a jock you see sports programs as the most important.

Science, AP classes etc all the same

So what do we do? Do we fund teachers to sit in nearly empty classrooms just so everyone gets everything they want from the school system? Do we cut positions as the school board did leaving some parents upset because the school board chose to "carve up the future of their child"?

This is why the government needs to get out of running schools. Fund education at the average cost. If a parent wants something above average then let them come up with the extra money. And by giving parents choices everyone would win. Competition would drive prices down and keep performance up. Parents wouldn't have to fear local town boards carving up their kids futures etc.
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Postby Jeannine Stergios » Mon Feb 12, 2007 4:43 pm

Rick

Why are these parents blaming the public schools for carving up the future of their child? Any further details?

Isn't it their responsibility to ensure they prepare their child for the future?

When my son was unhappy with in Manchester public schools, I transferred him to a private school. Should I have aired my complaint to the School Board to provide a curriculum he would have been happy with?

Public education is a "one size fit all" education. It has to be in order to provide something for everyone. When did it change?
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Postby joe179 » Fri Feb 16, 2007 10:46 pm

Why are these parents blaming the public schools for carving up the future of their child? Any further details?

Isn't it their responsibility to ensure they prepare their child for the future?

...

Public education is a "one size fit all" education. It has to be in order to provide something for everyone. When did it change?


I don't think anyone should blame the public schools for carving up anything.

...There is a group of people in our town who, like vultures, is circling the already cleanly picked carcass of our school district’s budget...
Last edited by joe179 on Sat Feb 17, 2007 5:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby RFTO1111 » Sat Feb 17, 2007 1:41 am

I say put up a warrant article to cut another 1.5 mil, A school budget of 60 mil is unacceptable. Give me my cut of that 60 mil and I will send my kid to private school. Just like the town side we would survive, like I said earlier, the kids will succeed go onto higher learning and become productive members of society. 1.5 mil would not even put a blip on the radar screen. But hey, gotta teach those kids how to cook in that microwave.
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Postby joe179 » Sat Feb 17, 2007 4:56 am

I say put up a warrant article to cut another 1.5 mil, A school budget of 60 mil is unacceptable.


So are you saying that a budget of $58.5M is acceptable?
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Postby Andy Sylvia » Sat Feb 17, 2007 7:40 am

RFTO1111 wrote:But hey, gotta teach those kids how to cook in that microwave.


They've got a microwave cooking class now in our public schools? Wow. We've come a long way...
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Postby Jeannine Stergios » Mon Feb 19, 2007 8:48 am

RFT

I say put up a warrant article to cut another 1.5 mil, A school budget of 60 mil is unacceptable. Give me my cut of that 60 mil and I will send my kid to private school. Just like the town side we would survive, like I said earlier, the kids will succeed go onto higher learning and become productive members of society. 1.5 mil would not even put a blip on the radar screen. But hey, gotta teach those kids how to cook in that microwave.


I agree with you. And don't forget paying more in benefits than salaries for people who should be part-time workers with no benefits. If someone took a closer look at the money being spent on benefits for part-time work, we'd shave off a good portion of that 1.5mil.
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Postby Loweresttaxes » Mon Feb 19, 2007 9:02 am

There's no fat in the budget...

Andy Sylvia wrote:They've got a microwave cooking class now in our public schools?


There's no fat in microwave cooking.

Where is the fat?

Can we move on from the microwave cooking and laundry class. Our children need to know how to seperate colors from whites.
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Postby Andy Sylvia » Mon Feb 19, 2007 9:19 am

Loweresttaxes wrote:
There's no fat in microwave cooking.

Where is the fat?


I need me one of them thar sarcasm buttons.

LT, I agree with you. A "microwave cooking" class is overkill. Should've just said that rather than typing while chuckling from the new guy. This place can get frustrating sometimes, and I try to get a laugh whenever I can.
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Postby RFTO1111 » Mon Feb 19, 2007 7:28 pm

Loweresttaxes wrote:There's no fat in the budget...

Andy Sylvia wrote:They've got a microwave cooking class now in our public schools?


There's no fat in microwave cooking.

Where is the fat?

Can we move on from the microwave cooking and laundry class. Our children need to know how to seperate colors from whites.


Maybe they are talking about fat teachers. How many fat teachers in the Merrimack school system. I think the teachers unions should ban all transfats for fat teachers. And while there at it, another 1.5 mil just for fun. Life will go on.
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Postby Michael Pelletier » Mon Feb 26, 2007 4:44 pm

Jeannine Stergios wrote:I agree with you. And don't forget paying more in benefits than salaries for people who should be part-time workers with no benefits. If someone took a closer look at the money being spent on benefits for part-time work, we'd shave off a good portion of that 1.5mil.

Public-school teachers are seasonal workers, don't forget, since thanks to typical government program inertia we're still accommodating the harvest schedule.

Ronald Reagan wrote:No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!
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Postby andysinnh » Mon Feb 26, 2007 5:33 pm

Michael Pelletier wrote:Public-school teachers are seasonal workers, don't forget, since thanks to typical government program inertia we're still accommodating the harvest schedule.

I keep hearing this over and over - "seasonal work" - "part-time work" - "the worlds easiest job since you get summers off". The fact that teachers must take courses to keep their professional development up to snuff, and the fact that they use the summer to prepare for their lesson planning during the summer, and the fact that many teach additional courses for the district and other places during the summer - simply amazing that some people still categorize them as "seasonal". Or maybe my wife is the exception to the rule.......

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