MONDAY NIGHT IS YOUR FIGHT
IT IS ABOUT SCHOOL FUNDING, NOT JUST FULL DAY KINDERGARTEN!
We hear people say – “I don’t have a child going into kindergarten, it is not my fight.”
They are wrong – this is a fight to ensure the schools will be properly funded for all North Kingstown children!
The Town Council meeting on Monday is your only chance to tell the Town Council to increase funding to the schools. If the Council refuses to increase funds for the schools, the school budget will be set and it is too late.
For the last five years, the Town Council has deprived the school system of necessary funding, while blaming the School Committee for bloated budgets. But the School Committee has already made hard decisions about cuts to keep the budget in check, and it is impacting our children:
- Why do you think Forest Park and Stony Lane have to share a librarian?
- Why do you think children at Stony Lane, Hamilton, and Forest Park start school at 9:25 and students are lucky to get home by 4:15?
- Why do you think the NKHS gymnastics & hockey programs lost school funding and must do fundraisers?
- Why do you think certain grades at Hamilton have such large classes?
THE NORTH KINGSTOWN TOWN COUNCIL IS PLAYING POLITICS,
INSTEAD OF PROPERLY FUNDING OUR SCHOOLS.
The Town Council has continued to increase its side of the budget (a 54% increase over the last 5 years), while it cuts the school department’s side (a 9% increase over the last five years). In the preliminary budget, the Town Council gave every department the amount they requested in their budget requests with no cuts, except for the school department.
In an effort to be fiscally responsible, the School Committee cut approximately $300,000 from it budget before submitting it to the Town Council. Then, the Town Council’s preliminary budget cut the School Committee’s request by more than 33%! The amount requested for full day kindergarten – $525,000 – was cut. If the School Committee decides to move forward with Full Day K without an increase from the Town Council, that $525,000 will come from other programs, such as music, sports, and art, which will negatively impact ALL our students!
The Town Council needs to provide additional funding and they will only do that if hundreds of voters and taxpayers show up to tell them to! It is not enough for the small group of people that have been spearheading this effort to show up and speak. We need to show the Town Council that as a community, we value our schools and will take action to defend our students and their education.
NOW IS THE TIME WE NEED YOU TO ACT!
Four Action Items
Town Council Meeting – Monday, 4/13 at 6:00 p.m. NKHS Auditorium
The town budget (for everything but the schools) will be discussed at 6:00 and the school budget will be discussed at 7:30. We need you at both!!! We know this is a tall order with kids, work, activities, etc. – we juggle these things ourselves. If that is not possible, come for the school portion of the meeting at 7:30.
We need everyone to speak if only to say one sentence – “I am a North Kingstown taxpayer and I support additional funding by the Town Council to support Full Day Kindergarten” or “I agree with what has been said by other speakers in support of Full Day Kindergarten” or “I support additional funding for the schools.” We know many people do not like speaking in public but you can just write down what you want to say and read it.
We also need people to put their names on the signup sheet to speak early because, as of now, the Town Council has said it will end the meeting at 10:00 p.m. even if people have not had a chance to speak. We believe this would be a violation of § 3.07 of the Town Charter and is certainly not in the spirit of the Open Meetings Act. They also stopped a large number of parents from speaking in favor of Full Day Kindergarten at the meeting in March due to time constraints. NK is not a monarchy! This is OUR town and the Town Council (who were elected by voters) should allow everyone to speak at such an important meeting.
Please try and bring TWO friends who support funding to schools. The people who are against any increase in school funding are planning on doing the same. We need to outnumber them in order to be successful.
REACH OUT TO TOWN COUNCIL MEMBERS AGAIN!
After the meeting, email, write, or call Town Council members to again tell them you support full day kindergarten or increased funding to the schools. They need to know that we care and we will act!
O U R N o r t h K i n g s t o w n T o w n C o u n c i l
|Jason A. Albuquerque
|Carol H. Hueston
|Kevin V. Maloney
|Kerry P. McKay
|Ellen S. Waxman