Letter: School start time change implementation is a travesty
To the editor:
How is it that we can afford a $68 million middle school but we can’t find $307,000 to implement school start time change next year?
I just don’t understand.
While the school committee has indicated that we don’t have money to pay for anything extra — that all of the allotted monies are required just to keep services level — I do not accept that. Anyone who’s managed a $50 million budget knows you can find $300,000.
When trying to do something critically important that seems difficult (particularly after they’ve committed to something) successful organizations and managers don’t ask, “Can we do it?” They can’t afford to. Instead they ask, “How can we do it?” Successful organizations stay focused on their key priorities, challenge what needs to stay and what needs to go, and don’t fall prey to ‘doing things the way they’ve always been done’.
I applaud Dr. Megan Douglas for being the only school committee member to stand up to this. Earlier in March, she was the only school committee member with the courage and conviction to vote against the budget that didn’t include funds for school start time change. She stood up for the reasons we elected her. She stood up for the decision and commitment that the school committee made over a year ago, but has still failed to keep.
In the face of another postponement of school start time change, our children are the losers. My son wants to know why the school committee can’t just “do what they said they’re going to do?” and I can’t give him a reason that I find acceptable. It’s a struggle for him to get up in the morning to make it on time for school. You cannot convince me that this is good for his well-being. Although I woke up at 6 a.m. to get to high school by 7:30 a.m., our children are fortunate enough that now we know better.
The school committee’s continued disregard of last year’s decision to execute school start time change is dismaying. What message does this send to our community? This town deserves more.