March 23, 2015 Leave a comment
Our school district is in financial crisis. We have a $1,000,000 shortfall in the school district budget for next year. Our towns cannot possibly come up with this amount of money. To fill this void, our district will have to cut 25-28 jobs next year. That is unacceptable. We were told during a recent audit by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education that we need to hire more classroom teachers, reading and math coaches, interventionists and a curriculum director. How can we follow this advice given our current fiscal situation?
This is how parents and other members of our community can help! Write letters to our State Representative and Senator to let them know that our children deserve the best education and right now we are not able to give that to them financially.
Below is a list of information that can be included in your email to Senator Ben Downing and Representative Gail Cariddi. A rule of thumb is that if they get more than 20 emails on one subject then it becomes a top priority. Imagine the concern if we send hundreds. We need as many people as possible to send an email so that we can get our school district the financial help it needs. Our children deserve this. All emails should be sent with the subject line: Adams-Cheshire Regional School District. Please include the following information below in your email.
- We have the LOWEST per pupil expenditure in Berkshire County. Our students receive approximately $12,500 per school year. Some districts are as high as $19,000 per student. This is not OK. Our children deserve the best too! Let them know we need their help.
- Our buildings are old and in need of some repairs that will cost approximately $1,000,000. The roof repair for CES is $300,000. We also have additional maintenance and repairs needed which will cost approximately $200,000. Plunkett needs the roof repaired at a cost of $400,000 and the additional maintenance needed for Plunkett will cost $400,000.
- Pittsfield and North Adams are eligible for grants that we cannot receive because they are labeled a city and we are a town. These grants would help to fund staff, technology, supplies, etc.
- Right now we need new computers and MORE computers for both schools. We will begin a new testing in the near future called PARCC testing and that will require students to have computers. Right now we only have enough computers for the students to share. They only receive 1-2 days of computer classes per week due to the lack of technology without a computer teacher. Most schools have a computer for each student and they work with them daily. Our students are at a big disadvantage.
- We should receive 100% reimbursement for our transportation. This was promised years ago for regional school districts. We only receive 60% (this just changed…) reimburse at this time. We get NO reimbursement for special education transportation or the 2 buses that transport BArT students.
- The formula they use to figure how much we pay to send a student to BArT has to change. We spend approximately $14,500 per student we send to BArT. We have about 62 children going to BArT. This totals $899,000. This could almost close the gap in our budget.
Please write a letter for our Schools. Make sure you are aware of any meetings or voting that may take place. Our children deserve the best education. They should not have to settle.
For more information you can go to the budget meetings. The next meeting is Thursday March 26th @ 6pm at HVHMS.
Also attend the town meetings and show your support for your school. The towns need to know that education and safety are our top priority. This is not something that can be changed by just one voice. These are your elected officials. Please let them know what is most important to you!
|Senator Benjamin Downing
7 North St., Suite 307
Pittsfield, MA 01201
|Representative Gailanne Cariddi
10 Main St.
North Adams, MA 01247
|Cheshire Board of Selectmen:
80 Church St. – Box S
Cheshire, MA 01225
(413) 743-1690 Ext. 11
|Adams Board of Selectmen:
8 Park Street
Adams, MA 01220
(413) 743-8300 Dept. #170
Please remember to put Adams-Cheshire Regional School District in the subject line for all correspondence. This budget crisis affects every student in our school district. Please take a minute to let our representatives know that you are concerned for your children’s educational future!