- Published: Saturday, 05 April 2014 00:00
- Written by Mike Flaherty
They say when a lie is repeated enough times it becomes truth. Anyone who follows the blogs in Wareham knows that trying to respond to all of the misinformation found there could be a full time job in itself (which I already have). So I tend to carefully choose which nonsense I feel needs at least "someone" to say "something" about, lest it become accepted as fact.
That brings me to where I recently read the following (emphasis mine).
"Alpert" is referring to the failed override vote that took place in July 2012 (which pertained to FY13). This wasn't the first time I've read him make this claim, and each time I see it I expect perhaps some parent of a student who had Mrs. Marinelli for a 4th grade teacher the prior year, or maybe Mrs. Higgins for a 5th grade teacher, would pipe up. They were both excellent teachers, and they are no longer with us. The same is true too for Vice Principal Tim Adams. He was a true gem and worth his weight in gold (so even-handed with the kids and they respected him so much).
Mind you, that is just a brief list from the Decas Elementary School where my child went to school. Other teachers in the District were let go too and never came back. These are real people with real names, and not anonymous pot-stirrers with too much time on their hands. Most if not all of those educators are now at other schools making more money than when they were at Wareham. Sadly, I'm happy for them.
That said, before this gets out of hand, the facts need to be made clear. Those facts are all available to "Mr. Fritz", or anyone else by the way, who simply asks the folks in the Central Office for clarification as I did (note how long ago I asked this)...
From: Mike Flaherty
As you know, back in July 2012, the District championed several Proposition 2 ½ related ballot questions. They all failed. Prior to that, the layoff notices had to go out in June (by law I think).
What I need to know is…
1) How many teachers were given pink slips?
I understand that some teachers had already found jobs, and were not able to be recalled.
I believe that Michelle worked very closely with Barry during this process and she probably has the information handy.
To which the Central Office replied (excerpted)...
From: Michelle Ruiz
The answers are below.
NOTE: "FTE" is an acronym for "Full Time Equivalent". Not all teachers are full-time, hence the difference in the amount of rehired "teachers" vs. "positions". Also note the added chapter 70 funds that I inquired about in my message to the Central Office. Those funds were added by the state AFTER the pink slips were handed out and they were appropriated back to the school's budget AFTER the July 2012 override election via a Town Meeting vote in October 2012. There were other things that occurred too. For example, the Athletic Director left. So his already budgeted salary could be shifted. We also had added grant funds (from the state) for going to a 100% full-time kindergarten model.
So in the end, we were able to rehire some teachers but certainly not all - indeed only about half. And thankfully we were able to do even that.
I hope that clears the matter up. If anyone has any further questions, then I suggest calling the Central Office at 508-291-3500. I think you will find the staff there quite accessible.
Thank You For Your Time,
Publisher's Note: The thoughts expressed in this article are my personal views. I am speaking for myself and not any private or public organization that I may be associated with.