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.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Vote for Education

As this website is generally supportive of Stand for Children, we wholeheartedly endorse their Pledge to Vote for Education campaign, and join them in urging voters to reject Question 3, which would further decimate the state budget by rolling back the sales tax to 3%, making the already critical budget issues in Beverly even worse.

We were a bit stumped and disappointed, however, in reading their Voter Guide to the Gubernatorial election.  The promotion for the piece goes to great measures to be nonpartisan and comprehensive, stating:
We know that education is a top priority for you when you enter the voting booth and we want to help you make an informed decision when you cast your vote for Governor on November 2, 2010.
In order to help you make educated decisions and vote for the person you feel has the strongest education platform, we’ve created this Voter Guide.
But once you open the Voter Guide, the cover of which continues the nonpartisan pitch, you are presented with the answers to 10 questions on education, the first line of every answer being "Baker: No response received."

With the race a dead heat, and education figuring strongly in our vote, it would have been nice if Charlie Baker had taken the time to fill out the questionaire, or if Stand had made some extra effort to get his responses before publishing the book.

As a former member of the Massachusetts Board of Education, Baker has had plenty to say about education throughout the campaign, and a detailed comparison of all the candidates' positions would have truly helped voters make an educated decision.

Stand also neglected to request answers from independent Jill Stein, which could have added to the debate.

You can get half the story, at least, by reading detailed responses from Deval Patrick and Tim Cahill.

10/5 UPDATE: Some shocking estimates from Mayor Scanlon on the impact of Question 3.  According to today's the Salem News, Scanlon estimates that the city would lose "at least 50 municipal jobs," if voters approve the sales tax reduction measure. The ballot question is opposed by all four of the candidates for Governor, but in recent polls it stood a better than even chance of passing.

10/18 UPDATE: As the officials who would have to deal most directly with the local ramifications of a sales tax cut, its no surprise that the School Committee has also taken a stand urging a NO vote on Question 3.