Communities are measured by the quality of their schools. How will the "community" of Marietta be measured after the May 3rd vote on the School's Emergency Levy? In just a very few days voters will decide the quality of the education it is willing to provide for the children of our city. The teachers, school board members, school administrators and I don't get to decide. You do. What is at stake is the quality of life in Marietta, the value of your homes, and the future of the 3064 children we teach every day. That being said, the decision is still yours. As the Superintendent of Schools I will respect whatever the decision is, and I will continue to do my very best to provide a safe and productive learning environment for our students each and every day.
Please understand the realities of our requirement to present a balanced budget to the State. If in fact the community, you, chooses not to support the emergency levy the following will occur:
1.Elimination of 9 Teaching Positions
2.All District Buildings Will Close at 4:30 Each Day
3.Pay to Participate High School and Middle School Sports and Extra-curricular activities
4.Elimination of All District Field Trips
5.Elimination of High School Bussing and Go to 2 Mile State Minimum for Pick-Ups
6.Elimination of High School Graduation Ceremony at Marietta College
7.Increase of 20% in student fees
8.Elimination of 1 Teaching Aide at Each School Building (6 Total)
9.Elimination of 1 Maintenance Position
10.Elimination of 1 Mechanic
11.Elimination of 4 Custodians
12.Elimination of 1 Nursing Position
13.Elimination of 1 Library Aide
14.Elimination of all Overtime
15.Elimination of the Gifted Program Coordinator's Position
16.Elimination of the Middle School Gifted Teaching position
What have we done so far to help meet our financial challenges? The school district has reduced the operating budget $520,000 in fiscal year 2011 and will reduce approximately $1.4 million in fiscal year 2012 should the levy not pass. We have reduced the number of administrators in the district. Employees have forfeited pay raises 3 out of the past 5 years, and teachers have given up step increases this school year. All employees are contributing a larger percentage to their health insurance coverage. We are engaged in a district wide energy savings program, and we are bulk purchasing supplies and materials with other school districts.
What will we do if the levy passes? We will withdraw all the reductions approved by the board listed above. We will hire 6 additional teachers to support the academic and learning needs of our students. We will spend your tax dollars wisely and provide complete transparency to you showing you where every dollar is spent.
Thank you for your time. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org with comments or questions.
Bruce Thomas is the Superintendent of the Marietta City Schools