'twas the night before the vote...

Normally the night before the vote it is a no-brainer. I have kids in Bridgewater schools, ergo I vote yes!

And the fact that 101.5 wants everyone to vote no should make me vote yes without any further thought.

I pretty much always vote yes for our school's budget. Even when slightly conflicted.

But this year is different. The weeks leading up to tomorrow's vote have been emotional ones full of political rhetoric and strained friendships, the likes of which I wouldn't have expected on September 1st, 2009. I used to feel like even if I had very different political opinions from the people around me, that there was a mutual respect. For some reason this year's fight has me believing that something fundamental has changed.

I am tempted to vote NO!

Now why would I do that? I know that my kids' education will be directly and immediately diminished if the budget gets shot down.  Tier IV cuts? I can't remember what was on that list, I just know I don't want to be around if they are implemented.

I'm still tempted. My no would mean something different from the fiscally conservative no-voter's vote. Mine would be a protest. I'd be protesting:
  • The animosity shown to me when I spoke my mind at a BOE meeting at JFK. I'll never forgot how mad teachers were. Some of them are still not talking to me! I got a weird look from N's principal today, I didn't like that either!
  • The poor negotiation skills of the BOE. I wasn't impressed at all!!!
  • A message to the BREA (and the other unions) that the townspeople think their 1.5% payment toward their healthcare is nothing compared to what could be done to reign in costs in a time of financial crisis. They clearly showed how out of touch they are with the rest of the community. Many on a private level were willing to take a cut, but their voices haven't been heard.
  • The cuts still include too many academic areas while the extra-curriculars got off too easy.
  • The BOE President complained that he had too many people e-mailing him. Cry me a river! He sounds like he really didn't want to hear from his constituents. And all he had to do was copy and paste the following: "Thank you for contacting me. Although I cannot respond to your individual e-mail, I would like you to know I am taking your opinion under advisement. Please express your view at the next BOE meeting. Thank you," It took me 10 seconds to type that once.
  • The Superintendent's annoying e-mails over the past few weeks also make me want to vote no, just because he is bugging me...
Of course, then the Governor could claim a Pyrrhic victory. Almost reason alone to vote YES!
Don't worry, public school Soccer Moms vote yes on their schools' budgets. And anyway, I doubt that the Superintendent would get the message right if I voted no.... he's not always the best at interpreting my opinions.

Nurse just called - C is sick. She suggested I have her tonsils looked at. One of THOSE weeks, I guess.


Anonymous said…
what makes you think more money means better education for your kids. No is the only vote based on the attitudes of the school administration. More money just feeds thier arrogance.
Poppet said…
If nothing else - finances are directly linked to class sizes. And while other people disagree, I think that the smaller the environment (teacher-student ratio) the better for the student. Some children do fine in large classes, but I think it is better for classes with fewer kids.

In addition money = opportunities for kids. If the budget gets cut, we will likely see fewer classes being offered as well as fewer opportunities in the fine arts and sports.

Finally, money also equals better support. Well "stocked" libraries (both in terms of staff and materials. It means money for training teachers. We have already had a lot of cuts in the budget. If the budget doesn't pass the program will be diminished further.

In the end I am voting yes to prevent further cuts. Not because of anything having to do with egos.

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