Thursday, March 26, 2009

Teacher salary freezes are not the solution to Franklin's financial issues

Disclosure: Mrs Sherlock teaches kindergarten at the Oak Street School. Our two daughters are the product of Franklin's school system, both graduated from FHS and (#1) is out in the working world and (#2) is working to complete her college studies.

The financial issues here in Franklin have been brewing for many years. Jeff Nutting, our fantastic Town Administrator, has worked very well to operate within the constraints provided by the Franklin voters. The Franklin portion of the overall Town budget has declined from about 70% to 50% as we benefited from political connections and the generosity of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

The real issue that will require action is the unfunded Federal and State mandates that drive the costs up. The impact is seen mostly on the school side but there are almost equal restrictions on the Town side.

The time has come to understand the mandates that have been imposed upon us and to take on the Don Quixote approach to go tilting the State House and other government bodies to get these mandates changed.

A listing of the mandates driving the school budget is being posted on Franklin Matters. This listing was compiled by the Massachusetts Association of School Committees. The listing can be found here:

Let's not make the teachers the scape goat because you think they are an easy target.

Let's focus our energy on getting the systemic changes made so we not only get this resolved once but for all.

I am ready to charge the ivory towers to get unfunded mandates changed. Will you join me?

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