The Big Lie that we don’t support our school.

We’ve heard a lot lately about lies being repeatedly told to the point where people believe them to be truth. In Wakefield, the Big Lie is that we don’t support the school. The facts, listed below, show that since 2015, the voters have approved a whopping 25 percent increase in school funding while the student population has increased less than 4 percent.

This big lie that we don’t support our school has been an ongoing narrative often promoted by a Teachers Union as it repeatedly lobbies the public for unreasonable pay increases and now wants to dictate the terms of when they will show up for work, all the while continuing to collect a full paycheck. They’re upset that for the last two years, the voters have just said “no” to unsustainable pay increases. Last year, I did a full analysis of last year's proposed contract that you can read here.
It looks like the proposal this year may be something I can support.

The facts don’t support this fairy tale of inadequate support being passed around by many on social media. Below are the budget amounts passed by the voters for the last five years compared with how many kids we educate. Click on the thumbnail for a larger view.

Edit: The original amount of $964,966 for the 2020-21 warrants was incorrect. The actual amount of warrants that passed was $400,000. This has been corrected in the updated chart. I apologize for the inaccuracy.

I've used the totals of the budgets and warrant articles that have passed each year to calculate average cost per student. Some may take issue with that. But the combined amount of both is how much the taxpayers of Wakefield were asked for.... and were willing to reach into their wallets for..... as they supported the school every year.

I always try to back up my opinions with facts. Here are some that have been provided here:
1: In 2015-16 we approved a total of $9,303,785 to provide school for 600 kids.
In 2020-21, we approved a total of $12,234,890 to provide school for 621 kids.
Thanks to a teacher, I can do the math.

2: Did you notice the "funds returned" column in the chart? Every year except one, they didn't spend all the money we gave them.  Sometimes unanticipated revenues, like grants can help create the surplus.

You may have issues with the School Board about the decisions they make and you have every right to tell them that and lobby for changes. But don't ever tell the people of Wakefield that we don't love our kids or appreciate the school and it's staff. That's nothing more than a Big Lie......and we've got the tax bills to prove it.

Note: Comments won't immediately show up but I  will approve them within 12 hrs. It's an anti spam thing. 


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  1. Relf said:

    Thank you Jim!

    February 13, 2021
  2. Anonymous said:

    Cool, so you’ll do a post on how the board mistreated the bus drivers, spread rumors about teaching staff, perpetuated irresponsible “anti-mask” vitriol, and overall has been contributing to a toxic culture surrounding the school for years next right? Maybe do an expose’ on the budget committee guy who got arrested for domestic violence?
    No? Just continue to use this blog to whine, whine, whine about school staff who have been excoriated by wackos in town screaming about socialism and brainwashing for years with no way to defend themselves without appearing unprofessional in public? No, you won’t do that?
    Unsustainable pay raises? Bottom 15 percent in the state. Hoping to shoot for bottom 5%? You’re unbelievable

    February 13, 2021
    • J.M. said:

      I sense a lot of anger in your opinions. If only you would post some facts to back up all your accusations, I might be willing to consider them.
      Regarding the bus drivers, there is plenty of blame to go around. The school board should have considered who would be affected by the furlough and how it would affect them. I’ll agree with you that much.
      However, the furlough was only for 11 days. Do they keep people at full pay where you work when there is no work for them? If those drivers had only reached out, this Town would have made them whole and we could have avoided the problem they helped create.

      Speaking of whining, there seems to be plenty of that coming from the folks I am calling out. The Union tried to hoodwink the public for two years with misinformation about the contract. I proved it with verifiable facts. The MOA is the latest trap and Monday’s stunt(now denied)has the appearance of once again twisting the arms of the public.
      FACT: The two top Union officers were absent that day. Coincidence? I doubt it.
      Does your job allow you to stay home in protest(and get paid)while your employer covers the cost of your replacement? Let me simplify it for all. Get to work or get out. It’s that easy.

      Start your own blog and advocate your position but use facts to back up your opinions or you’re just another tiny brain with a large mouth.

      February 13, 2021
    • Anonymous said:

      I’m sorry for the late reply. Perhaps you’ve moved on.

      If you could––please state the facts which support your post. If it’s the case that you’re ranting because you disagree with Jim or someone(s) else, well, so be it. The post’s worth will be assigned the value it deserves.

      I don’t know Jim’s worldview. I’ve only briefly spoken to him a few times in a cordial, non-political way. But his blog and your assessment of it as “whine, whine, whine”, I don’t currently see it that way, at all. Whether you agree or disagree with his view of a particular thing(s), he at least deserves some credit for trying to back up with data/facts that which he says. And this––to the best of my knowledge he hasn’t prevented anyone from publicly countering anything which he’s posted. Of course, I can’t see behind the curtain. I’m going by the back and forth at the blog, and extensive video coverage had with those whom he had/has disagreement.

      Your “excoriated by….”, I have no idea of what you speak. Disprove those with whom you disagree with facts if you’re able to. If it’s a matter of disagreement about basic premises––limited government as stated in the State and Federal constitutions vs. a more expansive role of government––state the case for your ideas. Calling someone names because you don’t like ideas that aren’t ones of which you approve is not stating your case. Identifying something as socialist that is socialist, and/or identifying one-sided, subjective material being presented to a captive audience––students––as brainwashing can be factually based identification.

      There’s ample evidence, contemporaneous included, that bullying and name-calling can be effective, short-term tactics. Long-term? Ruination and destruction.

      I don’t know what the relevance of Wakefield’s pay structure is to any of this. Maybe upping that and the school budget are the poster’s main goals?

      March 6, 2021
  3. Joyce Francis said:

    Thanks for your diligence in doing research for all of us. It’s appreciated !

    February 13, 2021
  4. Anonymous said:

    I failed at my cut and paste for my post. I was aiming to include:

    Thank you, Jim, for the work at ClearView and the blog. You’ve been a great help to me.

    March 6, 2021

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