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Thread: What does it mean to be a public school (and what does this mean for fees)?

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  1. #1
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    Default What does it mean to be a public school (and what does this mean for fees)?

    In a May 14, 2015 letter to Wicked Local Wayland, resident Ken Isaacson comments on the Wayland Public Schools food service program and its current financial challenges.

    I'd like to excerpt and respond to several of the points that Mr. Isaacson raises. I encourage everyone to read his full letter in its entirety (at the link in my first paragraph).

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Isaacson
    I went [to the April 27 forum) because the Food Service program is deep in the hole financially, and there is a big problem making the program pay for itself via user fees, as it is supposed to do.

    ...

    My takeaway from the meeting was that getting Food Service to fully pay its own way is a complex problem, and I agree that it will not have a simple solution. But raising user fees has to be part of the solution.
    I agree that food service should not be funded by local taxpayer dollars. Rather, it should be funded by families themselves plus programs such as the National School Lunch Program's "free and reduced price lunch" initiative.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Isaacson
    I am a taxpayer, and directly impacted by this subject, but I only heard of this invitation to comment through a third party, apparently because Iím not associated with the schools. I am very disappointed this invitation has apparently gone only to those who subscribe to your listserv. Apparently that was how the April 27 forum was announced as well, because I saw no public notice, and I stay well informed about whatís going on in town. That means you effectively eliminated up to 60 percent of the taxpayers who are paying for the Food Service imbalance.
    I don't know all of the places where the schools publicize meetings such as the April 27 forum, but certainly agree that such notice should go beyond school listservs and include at minimum the Wayland Town Crier/Wicked Local Wayland and Wayland eNews.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Isaacson
    The major concern about how the program is performing is financial. Food Service has not paid their full bills and I have been picking up a portion of the so-far more than $200,000 (and growing) shortfall, through my taxes. (This is also happening with other school-related programs that are supposed to be fully funded by user fees, but are not able.)
    Here, Mr. Isaacson starts to go astray. It's irresponsible to slam "other school-related programs" without naming them.

    More broadly, I'd be interested to know Mr. Isaacson's position on school-related programs that are supposed to be publicly funded, but aren't. Here, I include the many (and often considerable) fees that families pay for items ranging from participation in athletics (several hundred dollars per season) to riding the bus to parking at the high school (both several hundred dollars per year). (If there are other significant fees in place, please reply to this thread to let us know.)

    On balance, I suspect, families are picking up significantly more of what the public should fund than what the public is (currently) funding in the way of food service.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post
    I don't know all of the places where the schools publicize meetings such as the April 27 forum, but certainly agree that such notice should go beyond school listservs and include at minimum the Wayland Town Crier/Wicked Local Wayland and Wayland eNews.
    Jeff, just to make sure it's clear, WaylandeNews not only listed the public forum in the meetings section of the newsletter, but also included it in the first sentence of the introduction of the newsletter that week.

    I always make an effort to highlight public forums, especially ones that I think might have community-wide interest.

    While I make every effort to find and post relevant notices, I do encourage board and committee members to submit notices of public meetings they would like to highlight to WaylandeNews. Instructions for submitting articles (or emailing them to us) are online here:
    http://waylandenews.com/about-us/how...-waylandenews/

  3. #3
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    Kim, thanks for that update.

    Also, I note that the food service program forum was announced on Wicked Local Wayland.

    I looked to see if it was also posted to Patch, but (a) I didn't see it, perhaps because Patch search isn't up to the task, and (b) Patch.

    "If a notification is posted to Patch, does it make any noise?" I mean, really, Patch, is that still a thing? I remember when it used to be a thing, but now, posting to Patch would probably be detrimental to attendance.
    Last edited by Jeff Dieffenbach; 05-17-2015 at 11:16 AM.

  4. #4
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    The Crier also posted a link to the article on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/WaylandTown...82815445176440). If you want to follow Wayland news, I'd recommend following:

    Wayland Town Crier
    Wayland Patch
    and of course, WaylandeNews

    All three have sites on both Facebook and Twitter.

  5. #5
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    While the reporting is particularly skewed it was also covered here: https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...s/messages/824

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