Parents at Roslindale school try to raise funds to keep staffer cut by BPS

Boston Parents Schoolyard News reports that parents at the Bates School on Beech Street have set up a GoFundMe page to try to raise enough money to keep Adam Prisby, who runs a program that helps to connect poor students with extra resources in the community - right down to ensuring homeless students get Christmas presents and eyeglasses.

The school has reallocated funds from some other budgets - including for school supplies - to try to keep him, but because BPS also cut the school's overall budget by $117,000 for the coming school year, it's still $30,000 short. Parents are hoping to make up that difference.



Free tagging: 



BPS needs an open audit.

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BPS needs an open audit. Where is all the money going? Taxpayers pay for champagne & caviar and their kids get leaded tap water & canned imitation tuna.

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Well, the Veolia "safety

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Well, the Veolia "safety supervisors" for one, tooling around in brand-new full-spec Police Interceptors while our school police pretty much shares what must be a single old Crown Vic from the 90s.

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$20k per student next year

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Plus external funds, school debt, pensions and capital expenditures adds thousands per student to that. That's $500k per classroom of 25 kids. It costs about $125-$150k to put a teacher in the classroom with benefits on average . Assuming 2 teachers per class (gym, art, break time, aids etc.) - that's 50% of costs going to overhead. That's $550 million if anyone is counting.

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Yes, and?

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Cambridge is north of $26k per-pupil.

Regarding 2 teachers per class, you know what happens when you assume, right? Yes, in an inclusion school there should generally be two adults in a classroom, but one is typically a para-professional for at least half the day.

And this is ignoring the other elephant in the room: 100 year old buildings filled with lead pipes, crumbling ceilings, windows that don't open, and doors that don't lock.

If we aren't investing in our future, what are we investing in?

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Cambridge is an exception to everything

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Very unusual demographics in Cambridge - you get skews like this on the cape also where the year round population (and thus student population) is very small.

I've said it before - it's not like we should cut the budget in half, but even an internal study said Boston's school budget should probably be about 10% less - and a VERY sharp pencil might get it to 15%. Problem is nobody has the political cajones to make the hard calls.

As for lead pipes etc - case in point - why are our schools falling apart when we have more money than almost any district in the state and country (save the unusual situations above).?

This is not an efficient operation. We've seen what has happened in WV, KY, OK and now apparently AZ. - we are far down that list - but pensions and other generous benefits are growing rapidly and will eventually force hard decisions - not just in Boston - but at all levels of government (great article on what pensions are doing to budgets in OR in the NYT recently if you want to google it).

Everything in this country is propped up by artificially low interest rates - if/when those days come to an end - it will be a very, very sad day for a lot of people - in and out of government.

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Remember these sorts of stories when you drive by GE

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which received a $25 million, 20-year property tax break from the city (plus another $120 million from Charlie Baker).

Cue the corporate sycophants to tell us how it will all be a "net gain" in the end, as if that justifies assigning this special treatment to politically-connected companies while the rest of us get stuck holding the bag.

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If you're going to mention GE

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Don't forget State Street, JP Morgan, Fidelity, Liberty Mutual and a whole host of developers.

To Marty's credit he's only done a couple of these on a small scale. Menino handed them out like candy.

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Long shot idea

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Is there a possibility that his position could be partially funded by the Boston Public Library? Many libraries perform community outreach services like this, and he could potentially reach a wider population if he had some weekly hours at the library branch.

Was his position funded under health services along with school nurses?

I don't have kiddos so am unfortunately unable to know at a glance where his position fits in the school system and his school, specifically.

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On the one hand, BPL has its own resource issues; on the other, this role would seem to fit not only with their overall mission, but also with the recent initiative to target resources toward the homeless population.

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Possible, but has this been thought out?

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The GoFundMe page offers the intentions but fails to detail how this will be accomplished.

If the union position has been eliminated there may not be anything that can be done.

If the Parent organization plans to fund this position and essentially contribute his salary back to the city in order to keep him on the city payroll a specific contract with the city (memorandum of agreement) would be the minimal allowable. The city legal department would also have to sign off, and the city council would also have to vote on it. Ditto the teachers union.

This is complex and requires this level of engagement since it is illegal for any city employee to perform their city job while under the employ of a private entity. This is laid out in city regulations associated with conflict of interest.

If this person were to leave the employ of the city and perform this function on behalf of the families at the school on the parent organization payroll, then would that person have the same access to student records and other tools that make this job function? BPS has privacy rules on that data.

This also raises the question of the parent organization being prepared to be an employer subject to employer taxes, workman's comp insurance and a short list of other expenses associated with employing someone.

The MOA is possible and there is existing precedent but some of those MOAs are ending soon, and are no longer being embraced by the current corporation council under the new administration.

It is a great idea and a noble task but I question whether the good parents have fully vetted what this entails.

Unless they have already obtained some kind of handshake that this is a "go" and can show this to contributors, this needs to be re-thought.

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Not a BPS employee

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It's mentioned in the article (albeit halfway through) that Mr. Prisby is a City Connects coordinator, which is a program out of BC's Lynch School of Education. BC pays for half of the program, and the district pays for the other half. So it's not a BPS position, per se, but an outside coordinator position.

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