Saturday, April 18, 2009

Online Petition to Keep Kennedy School Open

Click here. The goal is a thousand signatures. So far they have 80 with comments & names which you can read.

The NDN ran a story yesterday (School Committee asked to give back) detailing Kelli DiPalma's decision to return her $1200 from the town & asking others to do the same. She's borrowing from Ed Silveira's idea for the Town Council to return 25% of their pitiful allowance.

Frankly (and I do know Frank), I have mixed feelings about this. At this point it smacks of grandstanding. So return your money or give it to charity- but a reporter beforehand? I don't see any state lege or the Guv doing this & they make a heckuva lot more while mostly local Councils & School Committees remain on the front firing lines making little. It's a good-hearted gesture, I suppose, but in the long-run (when we'll all be dead) or the short-run, it's pretty much meaningless.

I haven't heard a word from her about anything since elected. How about asking the Guv & the State Lege to properly fund our schools & screw those ever escalating property taxes? How about threatening a State lawsuit to challenge the fact the R.I. is the ONLY state not to have a funding formula? I think you may very well see this happening this year.

Really, this is all penny ante feel good stuff done primarily because parents are angry about the Kennedy School closing & shipping fifth graders to the Middle School- which well they should be. They may well pretend to "feel their pain," but this may also translate into: I can well afford it. Kelli (the product of private schools) & in her early 20's hasn't done much to bring her to anyone's attention besides this. I never see anyone challenging the Superintendent. Why not?

There is anger out there that large amounts of $ are being spent for consultants & management, while teachers- remember them, the ones who actually work with kids- are being laid off & kids shipped off at a young age to a middle school. No one even pretends any longer that it's done for solid educational reasons.

This isn't just a local problem- it's statewide AND national. Let's start pointing fingers where they belong- State Legislators, Governors, and the feds who barely fund education at all but certainly give out plenty of mandates. Let's point the finger at the new Statewide flat tax which is bleeding millions of tax revenues in the cause of- rich people stay here & spend like crazy, PLEASE?

I applaud the Kennedy School parents & their grassroots movement. Keep up the pressure & widen your targets. Think big. Lobby local & fed lege who are expected to cut even more $ in the coming budget. Keep challenging your School Committee members to do the job you elected them to do. Fourth graders don't belong in a middle school. Heck, I don't even think that fifth graders do.
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