7/12/2007

We thought you might be interested in a summary of the Support Our Schools fund raising efforts. A total of $266,487.85 in cash was donated from 368 families and 6 companies. The June 15th mail brought in a huge number of checks including a very significant donation that enabled priority three to be fulfilled, an 8th grade social studies teacher. As we noted in earlier e-mails, the 4th and 5th grade teaching teams were reinstated, preventing the redistricting of elementary school students and maintaining class size. With the remaining $31,488, the money will be split between high school technology purchases and instructional supplies for the three elementary schools. It is important to note that SOS has not dictated how the money raised would be distributed, but rather left it to the District to determine how to apply the money raised.

The upcoming fiscal 2009 school budget is our next concern. Marinel McGrath and members of the School Committee have said that next year will be even more challenging in terms of the amount of money required to maintain existing programming. We are eager to recruit more volunteers to help us with the following goals:

  • Prevent further cuts to the school budget.
  • Encourage the community to get engaged in the budget process.
  • Make our voice heard at the State and Federal level by joining with other community groups who are lobbying to increase funding for public schools.
  • Lobby to increase funding for state and federal mandates.

If you are interested in getting involved with SOS, please e-mail us at [email protected]. We will have a kick off meeting in September.

If you are wondering what you can do between now and September, here are some suggestions: Sign the SOS Wayland petition! View the petition at www.petitiononline.com/Funding/petition.html. They introduced this petition and presented it to their State Rep’s back in May when there were 900 signatures on it, mostly from Wayland and surrounding towns. But since then, the petition has been passed about and today there are over 3800 signatures from over 180 suburban towns in MA. We wholeheartedly endorse this petition and hope to add 500 from Hamilton and Wenham. SOS Wayland has worked hard and many things they are working on may be helpful in our community. Visit their website at www.soswayland.org. They plan to sponsor another petition next year, but in the mean time, this is a good and simple way to make your voice heard. Sign it and pass it on to your friends to sign!

  • Visit the Suburban Coalition website and look at their 2005 Mandate Relief Proposal – www.suburbancoalition.org/mandates.htm.
  • Visit the Phoenix Project website at http://phoenixprojectma.org. Similar to SOS Wayland but for the Whitman/Hanson School District.
  • Visit Citizens for Public Schools (CPS) at http://citizensforpublicschools.org. CPS is a Massachusetts-wide coalition of more than 50 civic, civil rights, labor, religious and education organizations committed to strong, democratically accountable public schools.

Sincerely,

The Support Our Schools Committee

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