LETTER: ‘Education Challenges Our Students Face Will Not Diminish’

Editor’s Note: This letter was first read at the School Committee meeting on April 15, and then submitted to SOURCE for publication.

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Members of the School Committee, on behalf of the FTA executive board, I want to thank you for supporting our schools and community by initially forwarding a fiscal year 2021 budget to the Mayor to fully address the enrollment growth and needs of the community. Our students and families need these resources to be successful.

Although the nature of the current crisis will shape future budget deliberations, we all share common goals in terms of addressing
student needs.

We co-hosted a very informative forum in early March about
budget priority thoughts from school staff members and community
members, and those priorities will continue to be vital as we come through
this situation.

As this crisis began, Dr. Tremblay has communicated with
the community to update us all on programs for families and supports to
engage students.

I am concerned however, by what I heard from the City Council Finance subcommittee held Tuesday night.

In particular, I was disturbed by what I heard from Chief Finance Officer Mary Ellen Kelly regarding the Mayor’s budget.

While I fully appreciate the challenges we will be facing, the blanket
statement of hiring freezes presents a huge problem.

The needs within our schools for supportive social emotional needs programming and staff, English Learner support and special education support are non-negotiable.

The educational challenges our students face will not diminish.

In fact, due to the loss of face to face time and direct daily engagement, our students will need even more support once we return to traditional learning.

How can we utilize what we are saving in expenses now to help address the
needs at the building level? What are the priorities of this district and this
School Committee in getting the strongest budget possible?

Students and educators should not suffer increased class sizes, lack of
adequate resources, unmanageable caseloads and workloads because the
city is not willing to support the needs of our youngest community members and their families.

We encourage all citizens – parents, educators, and community members – to reach out to your City Council representative and demand a more transparent city budget decision process as the financial picture evolves.

Thank you for your time.
Respectfully submitted

Christine Mulroney

Framingham Teachers Association President

editor

email: editor@FraminghamSource.com call or text at 508-315-7176

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