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.

Monday, October 25, 2010

More Voices Urge No Vote on Question 3

The above video features Briscoe teacher Jess Lague speaking out against ballot Question 3, which would roll back the state income tax to 3%.

School advocates, along with most city and state leaders, strongly oppose the measure which estimates say could take $823,000 out of the Beverly school budget, and as much as $2.5 million out of the total city budget next year.

Earlier this month, the Beverly School Committee officially announced their opposition to the measure, and Mayor Scanlon has also been a strong voice of opposition.

All of the Gubernatorial candidates, including Republican Charlie Baker, oppose the measure, as does Democratic State Rep Candidate Jerry Parisella.

And today Brett Schetzsle, the Republican Candidate for State Representative, who had stated previously that he was undecided on Question 3, issued a statement saying that he would "personally vote 'no' on Question 3." (Schetzsle, like Parisella, says that if elected and required to vote officially on the matter, he will honor the will of Beverly voters.)

Schetzsle states that he agrees with the sentiment behind the measure, but:
I do not believe that cutting the sales tax to 3% and have it take effect mid-year is the right way to deliver that message....

Unfortunately, the majority party on Beacon Hill has shown time and again that cities and towns are easy targets for devastating cuts without receiving some of the badly needed tools to control employment costs. In the short term, I see massive local aid cuts as the solution that they would pursue and it would result in ugly consequences here in Beverly.
When the Republican candidates, whose primary campaign message is cutting government spending and reducing taxes, say that this is too "drastic" a step, then its a pretty clear signal that, no matter your views on state government, this is a potentially devastating initiative.

Please join all of us who care about education in voting no on Question 3, and urging others to do the same. Even with all these voices opposing the measure, recent polls have indicated that it has a better than even chance of passing.

10/26 UPDATE: Today's Salem News, while endorsing Republican Charlie Baker for Governor, still endorses a NO Vote on Question 3, saying:
Beacon Hill has no one but itself to blame for the fact that a question with potentially catastrophic consequences is on the ballot this November.
Question 3 would roll back the sales tax from the Legislature-approved rate of 6.25 percent to an unreasonable 3 percent. Those going to the polls next Tuesday should vote no, but at the same time vote out politicians who refuse to take the difficult steps necessary to get the cost of government in Massachusetts under control.