I'll get to the veracity of that in a moment, but first let's point out: the assumption here is you can have police or properly funded schools. You couldn't possibly have both. .And YOU (not the Manager or the City Council) has to choose.But City Manager Michael V. O’Brien said in an email yesterday that to give the schools another $9.3 million, the city would have “to cut already decimated city services by $9.3 million — police, fire and Department of Public Works” or raise taxes by $9.3 million
Well, when the parents came to our budget hearing last week and said, "Don't cut our elementary teachers," my colleagues and I didn't say, "Gee, then we'll have to stop heating the buildings." My assumption heading into the budget is that I need to figure out where we're going to find funding for three elementary teachers, and do it without hitting core services.
Funding education is a key part of the city's job, too.
Worcester remains in the lowest quintile of the school funding in the state. One cannot say (to quote the City Manager again):
Their (Worcester public school employees) efforts and successes are intimately tied to our ability to thrive and compete in the 21st century. They are the stewards of our greatest investment in our future - our children.
..and mean it, but not fund it.
This fails to point out that the city is actually adding 56 public safety officers for FY13: 25 police officers and 31 firefighters (17 of the WFD are coming off a grant).
And the health insurance savings has been great, but it utterly fails make up for 20 years of undercalculating health insurance (stateside) which has lead to cities like Worcester underfunding classroom teachers by 32%, per the Mass Budget and Policy Center.