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School Layoffs will Destroy our Community

March 19, 2010

Update from the Superintendent’s Office 3/19/10 8:00 PM:
Today, March 19, the Walpole Public Schools teachers’ union overwhelming voted (78% to 22%) in favor of wage and health care premium concessions. The employees have voluntarily made these sacrifices to save jobs and maintain reasonable class sizes. The concessions reduce the projected budget gap from $2.1M to $1.4M. Specific positions saved will be determined at a future School Committee  public budget deliberation.

The package includes a decrease to the cost of living adjustment, employees moving to higher co-pay Rate Saver insurance plan or paying a higher percentage of traditional plan, and a reduction of tuition reimbursement.

We are hopeful that state, local and federal elected officials will further support our students by working collaboratively to mitigate the remaining budget gap.

Today is a proud day for the Walpole Public School community.

This week, the School Committee announced devastating budget cuts for next year that would result in the layoffs of dozens of teachers. While the Walpole Teachers Association is making their own concessions to help reduce the cuts, at the same time, we as a community must stand up for the money that we deserve from the state. Only in Massachusetts, it seems, do municipalities have to literally beg on their hands and knees for local aid and for prison mitigation money. Only in Massachusetts, it seems, do we have a dysfunctional state legislature that would prefer spending money on Evacuation Day and Bunker Hill Day but not on the cities and towns that are laying off police officers and teachers. This is not a local problem, and I don’t like when people blame local officials for the layoffs we facing. Rather than proposing tax increases and trash fees, contact your state legislators immediately and inundate them with telephone calls and emails about the debilitating cuts that will impact our community. There is money available, but the state has its priorities all wrong.

The mass school layoffs that are being proposed will cripple our community and destroy our public school system, as students suffer under class sizes of 30+ students. Let our state legislators know your feelings.  We need more local aid.

Here are our state legislators:

Senator James E. Timilty
Representative John H. Rogers:- precincts 1, 2, 6, 7
Representative Louis L. Kafka:- precincts 3, 4
Representative Richard J. Ross:- precinct 5
Representative Paul McMurtry:- precinct 8
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