This site aims to inform and mobilize Beverly parents to take an active role in all issues related to the funding and operation of the city's schools. It was launched in the spring of 2008, when the city saw its first-ever override attempt fail, followed by the closure of a nearly-new elementary school. Subsequent years have seen further cuts that have led to larger class sizes across the district. While the opening of an impressive new high school and plans to replace the city's aging middle school give us reason to be optimistic, the school community must be ever vigilant in demanding appropriate school funding by city and state governments, and better community communications from the district and School Committee.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Full Day K Helps Pay the Way

The Salem News reports today that Danvers has joined most of our other neighbors including Peabody, Salem, Manchester, Essex and Ipswich in offering FREE full-day kindergarten. Beverly meanwhile continues to increase the fee each year to the absolute state maximum, which currently is $4,000 per student. We know of only two other communities in the state, North Andover and North Reading that charge the maximum.

The Massachusetts DOE full-day kindergarten policy states "The Department of Education strongly encourages districts to offer full-day kindergarten free of charge." Further, the DOE's report "Transition Planning for Full Day Kindergarten" states "Full-day kindergarten presents an opportunity to improve the lives of children and improve educational outcomes both for children and for schools in general. Both are worth the investment."

If you followed the budget debate closely last year, you heard that the philosophy of Beverly seems to look at full-day K less as an investment in children, than as a "revenue stream," for the district.

While many of our neighbors share the same budget problems as us, it is clear that they don't have the same views on utilizing the full-day kindergarten program as a way to balance the budget.

1 comment:

BevParent said...

Excellent point. Granted, Beverly is hurting for local aid, but so much discussion revolves around funds and getting it from any available source that actually providing quality education is been knocked down the priority list.

Should we charge a user fee every time you call 911? How about doubling or tripling the fee for every permit offered by town hall? Those who want to end public education are winning the war folks, and we need to stand up for what is right.