and now the fun starts

Not really, of course.  I’m being sarcastic. 

With the Joint Finance Spectacle over for this year, the school district administration must now get to work eliminating about $1.25 million from its operating budget for the upcoming 2011-2012 school year.  I’m not going to write about this JFC meeting, like I did the last.  The East Bay Newspapers wrote an article giving the basic facts, noting that the JFC voted to approve just over half the budget increase the school district had requested.  I know that we’re supposed to feel grateful for this, at least from the Committee’s point of view.  And I do appreciate the increase, though it’s taken me a couple of days to work my way up to ‘appreciation’. 

But it’s a gratitude tinged with resentment, born of the adversarial attitude and downright bad behavior of our most vocal JFC members.  For all their words to the contrary, the JFC certainly positioned itself as the antagonist to supporters of education in Bristol and Warren on Tuesday night.  But we need to move on with the hard work ahead of us, so I’m not going to write about the shockingly unethical attempts by Mary Parella to force a contract provision at a public meeting, when she knows full well that the teachers’ union and the School Committee are currently engaged in a good-faith negotiation.  I’m sure she didn’t mean to undermine the entire process, no.  And I’m not going to write about the powermongering rudeness of David Barboza, refusing to allow certain people to speak during the public comment portion of the evening, and cutting off those he did deem worthy to speak when he felt they had said enough.  Surely someone will eventually take away that man’s toys.  I’m not even going to write about Halsey Herreshoff’s befuddlement as to why education should cost more nowadays than it did twenty years ago, when he was Town Administrator (after all, it’s not like the world has changed much in the past two decades). 

'Underfunded Sunset'

There’s (an awful lot) more I could write about, but I’m not going to this time around, because there are more important things to do.  Our district administrators are already figuring out how to work with the allowance they’ve been given.  If you want to be a part of the conversations about what gets cut, then contact our Superintendent and plan to attend School Committee meetings, especially the Budget Subcommittee meetings and the School Committee Workshop meetings.  There’s a workshop meeting on April 11th and a budget meeting scheduled for April 18th; you can view the School Committee calendar and agendas on their website

and now I’ll gladly get back to the arts!

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