Hi, Everyone,

As you may know, our state Rep. Brad Hill has co-sponsored a “SPED circuit breaker” amendment to this year’s state budget that has the potential to bring some state money back to our towns.

Essentially, it lowers the amount our school district has to spend on Special Education costs before we get reimbursed by the state. (Interesting fact: it’s sponsored by Rep. Barbara L’Italien of Andover, who has an autistic child herself.)

Now Brad needs our help–right now, this very instant. The House is expected to debate this amendment sometime today (Wednesday, April 29) or tomorrow, and Brad has asked that we let Speaker DiMasi and Chairman DeLeo know NOW that we support this bill.

Details on the amendment are pasted in below. If this makes sense to you — and it does to us — PLEASE take literally 90 SECONDS of your day RIGHT NOW to either call or email these two men:

HERE’S HOW TO CALL:

  1. Call Speaker Salvatore DiMaisi’s office at (617) 722-2500.
  2. Say your name.
  3. Say that you’re from Hamilton or Wenham.
  4. Say that you want him to support amendment number 1148, the SPED circuit breaker bill, offered by Rep. Barbara L’Italien of Andover.
  5. Hang up.
  6. Dial Chairman Robert DeLeo’s office at (617) 722-2990. Say the exact same thing. Hang up.

HERE’S HOW TO EMAIL:

  1. COPY the following text into an email and then please feel free to edit or add your own experiences or feelings. Rep. Hill has recommended we share these personal town stories that really do make a difference!
  2. Email it, in two separate emails, to the following places:

    Speaker Salvatore Di Masi
    [email protected]
    subject line of email: please support amendment # 1148
    or: Hamilton and Wenham ask you to support amendment # 1148

    Chairman Robert Deleo
    [email protected]
    subject line of email: please support amendment # 1148
    or: Hamilton and Wenham ask you to support amendment # 1148

HERE’S THE TEXT:

START COPYING HERE:

Dear Speaker Dimasi/Chairman DeLeo:

I urge you to support amendment #1148, the SPED circuit breaker bill sponsored by Rep. L’Italien of Andover and our own Representative, Brad Hill.

Our regional school district in Hamilton-Wenham is struggling with SPED costs that are 25% of our budget, growing at 12% per year. We are getting ready to vote on another of many painful overrides our towns have endured.

This bill would bring some of our own tax dollars back into our regional school budget and ease the property tax pressure on all our citizens. Please support our towns and the many, many others like ours across the Commonwealth. Please support bill #1148.

Thank you for all you do for Massachusetts,

YOUR NAME AND ADDRESS HERE.

END COPYING HERE.

Thanks for taking a moment of your busy day to do this. We’re really hopeful this will make a difference. Be part of the solution!

Tracy Mayor

Charlotte Lidrbauch

SOS subcommittee on state and federal lobbying


Important Meeting Tonight, April 30:

Tonight at 7:00 PM in the Buker Multi-Purpose Room there will be a Town/Schools Budget Process Forum. This will include presentations from both the Wenham and Hamilton Town Finance Committee’s and a presentation by Superintendent Marinel McGrath on the School Budget and Override for FY09. There will be an opportunity for questions and answers.


HERE’S THE BACKGROUND FROM BRAD HILL:

REPRESENTATIVES L’ITALIEN of ANDOVER, TORRISI of NORTH ANDOVER, HILL of IPSWICH, CALLAHAN of SUTTON, KOCOT of NORTHAMPTON, KOCZERA of NEW BEDFORD, GUYER of DALTON, CANESSA of NEW BEDFORD, SMOLA of PALMER, FINEGOLD of ANDOVER, MCMURTY of DEDHAM, FERNANDES of MILFORD, LINSKY of NATICK, HARGRAVES of GROTON, TIMILTY of MILTON, GRANT of BEVERLY, GOBI of SPENCER, RICE of GARDNER, GARBALLEY of ARLINGTON, CASEY of WINCHESTER, SPELLANE of WORCESTER, SANNICANDRO of ASHLAND, BROWNSBERGER of BELMONT, SPELIOTIS of DANVERS, GARRY of DRACUT, ALICEA of CHARLTON, KAPRIELIAN of WATERTOWN, MCCARTHY of BRIDGEWATER, TURNER of DENNIS, KENNEDY of BROCKTON, LANTIGUA of LAWRENCE, ATKINS of CONCORD, RUSH of WEST ROXBURY, ELDRIDGE of ACTON, VERGA of GLOUCESTER, O’DAY of WEST BOYLSTON, POIRIER of NORTH ATTLEBOROUGH, STANLEY of WALTHAM, SMIZIK of BROOKLINE, FALLON of MALDEN, GREENE of BILLERICA, DRISCOLL of BRAINTREE, KAPRIELIAN of WATERTOWN move that the bill be amended in section 2, in item 7061-0012, in line 4, by inserting after the word “item;” the following “provided further that reimbursement for special education in district costs will be triggered at 3.5x threshold” and in said item by striking out the figure “$225,802,533” and inserting in place thereof the figure “$258,602,533”.

 

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