Newburyport, Newsletters and Elementary Schools

A while ago I got a newsletter from the Mayor’s office. It was on bright yellow paper and it was excellent.

Snow Emergency Update, Leaf Pick-up, Crow Lane Landfill Update. All info short and to the point and written by different department heads. I read the whole thing. And I would have read the whole thing even if I wasn’t a blogger, who now reads this kind of stuff.

And a few days later, for some reason, I wandered into the Children’s Room at the Newburyport Library. And low and behold there was another newsletter, the School Committee Newsletter. I used to receive one of those, but since there is no child in the Newburyport School system, I guess, no more newsletter.

But, as a tax payer I would have very much liked to have gotten this particular newsletter (October 2006) because right there in black and white the “Status” of the Long Term Elementary Building Needs. Ah, my…

Note to the Newburyport School Committee: very helpful to send out an abbreviated version of the newsletter to taxpayers, a la what the Mayor’s Office initiated, especially when it comes to spending $30 million plus (Newburyport Daily News, November 17, 2006) of tax payers hard earned money on a diamond necklace approach to our elementary school building stuff. Good grief.

So, no, it sounds like, having stumbled on this newsletter in the Newburyport Library, quite by accident, that the Newburyport School Committee has no intention of revamping it’s recommendations to coincide with reality, but instead is deciding on “how to best proceed with implementing this plan.”

Bad idea.

And the reason it would be a good idea for taxpayer to receive (at least an abbreviated version) of the Newburyport School Committee newsletter, is that a) of course it pertains to the taxpayer’s money, and b) taxpayers often have very good insight and perspective that parents who are in the throws of getting their children educated (which usually, in my experience, entails at least some degree of high anxiety) might not yet have.

Having a child go through a whole variety of educational building situations, from very fancy to very un-fancy to large, small and inbetween, my perspective is that it was the schoolmates, the caring parents of schoolmates, and the guardian angels all the way along, who taught, cajoled, prodded and guided that made the huge difference, rather than the bricks and mortar stuff that encased guardian angel wings and other things.

(Boy, I wonder if this is going to piss a lot of people off.)

Mary Eaton