Wednesday, May 26, 2010

choose your poison in the school budget

We heard from all sides last night about the school budget and tonight we will be asked to approve swallowing a poison pill, no matter which we go. The options on the table so far, 88,895 approved by Ways and Means, 88,695 which takes 400,000 a one time influx of meals tax money, which leaves the schools to cut another 400,000, and then there's the fincom recommendation of 86,800, which will cut severley more programs.

I was shocked to hear that we spend 66,000 per for some of the sped students. Not shocked at the resolution that calls for the closing of Widrow Wilson, next to General Chemical. We were told that the chemical plum is moving away from the school and that there is no fear about contamination.

Not surprising was the amount of unfunded mandates and how that really effects our school budget. It's criminal that the legislature and the feds force us to pay for things we can't afford. No child left behind, illegal immigrants, MCAS and so on, are bankrupting our education system and shortchanging our kids.

For their part, I feel the school committee has done a good job at cutting whats needed to make budget, but at the end of this day, TMM's who are awake and paying attention, not doing homework or reading magazines, will be forced to make a decision that will effect our childrens future.

Years and years of bad politically correct partisan decisions, a major down turn in the economy and the powerful self interest of the union mentality has brought us to this point. None of us will win in this scenario no matter which way we vote.

I'm open to any or all comments on how we should vote this school budget.

15 Comments:

At May 26, 2010 at 10:15 AM , Blogger Jerry G. said...

Thanks for asking our opinon Jim. Overall, I agree, there is no good choice on the table at the moment. But I think we need to look down the road and start preparing for that now. So I say go with the lowest budget for the school committee currently on the table. It is the only one that takes seriously the current economic condition of the town. We can not continue to hold this together with short term fixes. Time to do what no one wants to do, but what has to be done, and cut to the bare bones.

 
At May 26, 2010 at 10:34 AM , Blogger Frustrated in Framingham said...

Every single person I know has been impacted by this economic downturn either losing a job, cutting hours, or taking cuts in salary. If the teachers care so much about the good of the children, then they should allow the raises they negotiated 3 yrs ago to not be paid, saving lots of money in the budget, and use that savings to fund the programs they say are so important and hold on to teachers they say are needed. If they want us to believe that these things are important, then time for them to step up to the plate and show us by their actions that they mean what they say.

 
At May 26, 2010 at 10:57 AM , Blogger Angry Voter said...

The lowest budget amount is the only viable answer here. Framingham is bleeding money, and the tranfusion bank is low on blood, so the patient is going to die if we don’t stop the bleeding, and stop it right now. Will it hurt? Yes, it will. But my neighbor losing his house because he can not pay the higher tax rate hurts too. There is no option that is not going to hurt someone.

 
At May 26, 2010 at 11:07 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everyone on this blog is blaming the teachers and the teachers union. How about putting the blame where it belongs, on town meeting for passing year after year of budgets that we knew we were not going to be able to pay for without increases in taxes. Lets say no new taxes, property tax revenues are going to be less because of foreclosed homes, and take that $ value for what the town will take in in fiscal year 2010, and that is how much the town can spend, not one penny more. Then decide which amount to approve for the school department budget. I must say I don’t have much faith in TM members making good decisions, you idiots passed the Quinn funding just the other night.

 
At May 26, 2010 at 11:19 AM , Blogger abby said...

I was all for the compromise settlement until I heard the school committee chair say they had not even considered that they may have to go with the lower amount. How arrogant is that? If that is the mentality of the school committee, then they are not taking seriously how critical the financial state of this town is. Given that, I vote we go with the lowest amount currently on the table.

 
At May 26, 2010 at 11:24 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bad choices in the past have brought Framingham to this point. Bad choices now will keep us in this quagmire, and lead those in power in 10 years to bad mouth us for the mess we left them. Lets stop this cycle now. We budget what we have for money in the coffers and not one penny more. We can not keep robbing Peter to pay Paul. The lower figure is the only one that is fiscally responsible.

 
At May 26, 2010 at 11:54 AM , Blogger Doreen said...

I have kids in Framingham schools, so this is important to me. As a parent, I want the most money on the table. However, as an unemployed home owner who is concerned about the repercussions of higher taxes, which could mean I lose my house, I want the lowest possible budget figure. I think there are more homeowners that are in this position, and as much as I hate to say it, I think we have to go with the lower amount. Then if teachers and the superintendent really think that is not doable, let them forgo some of their benefits or pay to bring this back to an equitable level.

 
At May 26, 2010 at 12:10 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Teachers are not above the fray here. They need to make more of a concession if they want us to believe they care about this mess the school department is in.

 
At May 26, 2010 at 1:19 PM , Blogger Anderson said...

Increased property taxes could very well lead to more foreclosed homes which leads to less revenue in the town coffers because there are fewer homes paying their property taxes which will lead to not having enough money to cover the budget that we approve which will mean we are in the red and not balanced. We can not willingly put the town in that position. We need to go with the lowest amount on the table for the school department budget.

 
At May 26, 2010 at 2:03 PM , Blogger Old soldier said...

Teachers are not gods. They play the card of educating our kids and think that means they don’t have to face cuts to their salary. Part of the important lessons we teach our kids should be fiscal responsibility, which means you can not spend more than you have. Lets start teaching our kids that lesson now, and fund the lowest budget amount on the table.

 
At May 26, 2010 at 2:08 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Vote for the school budget that the CFO origianly said they could have. We have not suddenly got an extra $400,000 to give them. They need to suck it up and go with what they were told they could have. They were awful arrogant to come back in expecting more than that.

 
At May 26, 2010 at 2:54 PM , Blogger blog addict said...

The school department is not in a mess, the town is in a mess. The school department is suffering just like all town departments are suffering, it is just such a big budget that it gets the most money, but it has the most employees also. School budget should not have to face cuts that the police and fire don’t have to face. Why are we expecting the schools to cut about 7 mil from their budget, and not asking the same of police, fire, and other town budgets. Did the town manager take that big a percentage of a cut in his operating budget this year?

 
At May 26, 2010 at 2:56 PM , Blogger 50 stud said...

We have to stop spending money we do not have. No increase to the school budget, stick with the lowest amount.

 
At May 26, 2010 at 3:15 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just wanted to say that if we short fund the schools and we increase our property taxes, that is going to hurt this town in attracting new residents. And we already have a lot of disadvantages. Think about the whole picture people before you opt for the low amount for the school budget.

 
At May 26, 2010 at 3:19 PM , Blogger Edward said...

They use to say that all roads lead to Rome. Looks like in Framingham all roads lead to bankrupting the town. You can not expect higher tax collections in 2010, property values have declined as have the number of empty businesses and foreclosed homes. You can increase the tax rate by 2.5% but you will still collect less in taxes in 2010 than you did in 2009. That means you have to spend less. Math seems pretty simple. If the teachers are expecting their previously negotiated raises, then we have to make cuts elsewhere, and if we can not do that in things like health care costs, then we have to cut where we legally have the option to do that, and that is in budgets for town departments. There is no other options people. You think it is hard attracting businesses to town now, wait until you are trying to attract buisnesses to a town that is in recievership.

 

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