ENOUGH is ENOUGH
CITIZENS FOR FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY
December 22, 2008
Hamilton-Wenham Regional School Committee
5 School Street
Wenham, MA 01984
To: Laurie Wilson, Chair, Hamilton-Wenham Regional School Committee
Dear Ms. Wilson and School Committee members:
Enough is Enough is greatly concerned that the school committee continues to use failed budgetary processes in the development and management of the schools. After ten yearly overrides in a row, and with the last one at $1.8 million, we were appalled to learn that the school administration reported at a recent school committee meeting, that the schools are running a financial deficit, so severe that a financial freeze is being put into place.
It is clear to us that the budgeting and spending at our schools is out of control and needs to be dealt with immediately. Enough is Enough has called for an operational audit of the school system. The aim of the audit would be to uncover expenditures that can be cut back or eliminated, while preserving quality educational services. Examination of staffing, changes in staff benefits, pay structures, outsourcing of services would all be on the table for review. It is our belief that such an audit would more than pay for itself with substantial cost savings if recommended changes are implemented, and would provide a roadmap to future budgets without annual tax overrides.
The School Committee has been slow to grasp the reality that school funding is going to be cut by the state and that there is no chance an override will pass next spring. The time to get the schools fiscal health in order is now. Waiting until spring then facing the cut of state revenues and no override funding, would lead to serious harm to our educational services. Taking action now by trimming or eliminating non-education items is the only course of action.
Please act now for the sake of our children’s education. EIE requests a written response describing the actions you plan on taking over the next two months, to begin to address this problem. We would respectfully request a response by January 22, 2009.
Enough is Enough
Robert F. Sica Edwin Howard
339 Essex St, Hamilton
34 Hamilton Ave, Hamilton Bruce Wadleigh
Elizabeth Dunbar George LaMontagne