Monday, March 23, 2009

Mayor Magically finds another $25 million

Last week I was at the school committee meeting at the Orchard school on Albany street, where I testified and asked the school committee to advocate for the students, the teachers, and the parents and to propose a budget that had no teacher layoffs.

Despite the fact that later in the meeting they announced that the Mayor had just 'found' an additional $25 million dollars (did he clean out his closet?) the school committee according to WBZ is going to propose a cut of 212 teachers. Councilor Connolly has a nice breakdown here.

This is what happens when the Mayor controls everything. The school committee should be advocating for the best interests of the schools, and I don't understand how cutting teaching jobs is in the best interest of a school system that currently only graduates about %56 of its high school freshman, and where a freshman only has a 1 in 8 chance of ever getting any type of college degree.

As I have been saying since January, there is more than enough money in the budget to not cut a single full time teaching job. The Mayor is trying to make the school committee take the blame for a value decision which is his alone.

How can we afford to start street cleaning early this year, but we don't have money for schools. We need to make tough decisions in these economic times and laying off teachers is not the right decision, in my opinion.

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