Two events to put on your calendar: an October 13 chat with Massachusetts House Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Murphy on the state of the State’s budget. Then set aside the evening of October 27 for an important Community Dialog on the future direction of the public schools.
Kennedy’s legacy: service to the public
I don’t know what Rupert Murdoch has ever done for me, but I’ll say this: Ted Kennedy’s work opened doors for my three daughters that will transform their lives, helping them build confidence and insuring that they will be treated as full equals of their male counterparts in the classroom, on the playing field and in the workplace.
Are textbooks going the way of the horse and buggy?
An interesting article in yesterday’s New York Times on changes coming to a classroom near you: digital textbooks. The article, by Tamar Lewin, talks about pilot projects in school districts in Arizona, Louisiana and California that are replacing traditional printed textbooks with online, digital equivalents, or even “open source” texts compiled from materials and lessons generated by teachers or from public (and reliable) sources of information online.
The Wellington victory: turning a page
If nothing else, the Wellington reminds us all that investing in our public schools — investing in the future of Belmont — is something that’s just…good. It enriches us all far beyond the meager costs we pay (around $1 a day, on average, for the new Wellington school).
Wellington wins unanimous approval of Town Meeting
This year’s marathon, multi-session Town Meeting might be best remembered for what wasn’t heard last night: a single dissenting voice among the more than 200 assembled Town Meeting members to a motion to allocate more than $39 million for reconstruction of the Wellington Elementary School. The unanimous vote in favor was sweet victory for all those who have battled to have the aging school rebuilt!
Marathon Town Meeting ends with dramatic vote on free cash, library aides
An amendment by TM member Anne Mahon targeted at using free cash to preventing cuts at Belmont High School and preserving elementary library aides looked like a long shot, but won overwhelming support at Town Meeting last night. Where were you when you heard the Cat Leash speech?
State: now is the time for Wellington
MSBA Executive Director Kathy Craven told Belmont voters that now was the time to act on funding a new Wellington Elementary School, and that $12.4m in State funding will be off the table, and given to other towns if the town fails to pass a debt exclusion in June.
Belmont family profiled in Globe story on cuts to social services
Bella English’s excellent story about Belmont’s Burke family and their struggle to raise three lovely daughters who were born with Sanfilippo syndrome, a very rare and fatal degenerative brain disease, put a very human face on the otherwise sterile and bureaucratic machinations on Beacon Hill, where talk of “reductions in services” and “necessary cuts” often mask a more brutal reality. Without help from the State, the caseworkers and educators who help them shoulder the load of caring for three profoundly disabled children will disappear, the lives of families like the Burkes, already hard, will get much harder.
State’s fiscal freefall could jeopardize local aid
A precipitous drop in State revenues could jeopardize local aid payments and eviscerate funding for social services and education. Suddenly “Read my lips: No new taxes!” doesn’t sound so cool.
The kids are alright: new book argues for less parent supervision
A new book (and blog), Free-Range Kids, tries to explain why we’re so afraid to let our kids go unsupervised and encourages parents to set their kids free.