Monday, June 24, 2013

The cuts will devastate not only the teachers, paraprofessionals, custodians, and other staff, and their families, but the future of our city—its youth!!

Dear City Councilor:
I am a teacher at New Bedford High School, with over 25 years of teaching experience, and I have worked and continue to work in the private sector as well.  I have seen layoffs and cutbacks in manufacturing companies where I have worked—when sales and markets have gone down.  Those cutbacks and layoffs, of course, were devastating to the workers and their families; the shareholders, not so much, because after all, their main purpose is to keep costs down and to make a profit.  That’s the American way.
The proposed cuts in the 2013-2014 school budget are far worse than any layoff in the private sector.  They will devastate not only the teachers, paraprofessionals, custodians, and other staff, and their families, but the future of our city—its youth!! 
Yes, the children who would have succeeded before the cuts--the valedictorians, the salutatorians, the high honors achievers--will continue to succeed after the cuts.  They have the family support, both financial and emotional, to succeed no matter what. Then there are young people, some of whom I’ve met, of extraordinary courage and motivation who will succeed because they are self-motivated and will seek any opportunity that’s available to them, whether it be a learning opportunity, a scholarship or grant, an internship, etc.
But what about the vast majority?  Those are the kids I see day in and day out, the kids who need the attention and support, the encouragement from a positive, caring adult (or village of adults).  And don’t tell me class size doesn’t make a difference until you’ve stood in front  of a classroom of 30 or more children or teenagers 180 days a year for 5 or 10 years.
Couple that with inadequate technology; old, out-of-date, falling apart textbooks, windows that haven’t been cleaned in some 30-odd years, and you’ve got a pretty good idea of life on the inside of NBHS.
Dante once said that the darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis.  If this doesn’t qualify as a moral crisis…..I can’t imagine what does.  Don’t punish the students and hard working school personnel of this city by taking away what they have! It’s time to take a stand, not against the School Committee and your fellow politicians; but a stand FOR YOUR CHILDREN AND THE FUTURE OF NEW BEDFORD!
P. S. If you want to find out where the money’s gone, hire a good forensic accounting firm and have them look back 5, 10, 20 years…..follow the history.  I’m sure you’ll find out how this monetary situation was created and allowed to go on for so many years.


Joanne Maura


Anonymous said...

Thank you and I agree. I have called each and every council member. I can tell you that I got respectful responses from Lopes, Oliveira, Bousquet. I did not hear back from Coehlo, Duarte, Lawrence, Gomes. Jane Gonsalves left a very rude message.

Rebecca Corvello said...

Bravo, Joanne! "Our kids" are always the ones who suffer. I hesitate to think what a class of 30 for biology would look could I ever conduct labs safely? How would I teach and reach all learners? How could I motivate them, when having 20 this year was so difficult to engage?

Anonymous said...

As a teacher and tax payer in New Bedford, I am embarrassed. How will we ever attract and keep good educators when the politicians are so juvenile and stupid? They are setting the worst possible example for our children.

Anonymous said...

I am a proud graduate of NBHS and it pains me to see this all unfolding. The one point I think people miss is going back years to audit doesn't do any good. If you want to say NBPS spent money on wasteful items and positions over the years then that's absolutely fair but as long as each year doesn't end up in deficit then there is no legal reason to look back and more importantly it doesn't change the fact that we spent more than we had this year.

Anonymous said...

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Lets audit to find out if there have been illegal things done and monies spent illegally.or for private this in all the schools also..each individual school..