At a post-meeting-with-the-mayor gathering at Shopper's, I mentioned that @WalthamGuy posted that 11% of Waltham voters voted in the last election for School Committee. That's a travesty. We tried to find the number of voters in Waltham who have children in the school system, and, after asking Mr. Google and scribbling on cocktail napkins, we came up with a number of around 50% [I hope that it is clear that our math may have been wrong. According to Wikipedia, in 2008, there were 35,000 registered voters in Waltham out of a population of around 60,000. 15% of the population is under 18 (9000). That means that 69% of people over 18 are registered to vote. There were, according to US Census data from 2000, 12,000 families and 23,000 'households', of which 20% (4600) had children under 18, including single-parent households. So, 24,000 two-parent families plus 4600 'households' is 28,000, which was close enough to half for us. Here's thehttp://http//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waltham,_Massachusetts#Demographics link ] Why such a low turnout for something as important as School Committee?
Another smart and concerned parent had asked about a 'job description' for a School Committee member. This is where I was especially enlightened, since I had no idea that the School Committee responsibilities, as well as the requirement for a School Council, are Massachusetts DOE law: http://http//www.doe.mass.edu/lawsregs/advisory/cm1115gov.html There is also a Massachusetts Association of School Committees, which could provide benchmarks and a way to find what other school districts are doing: http://http//www.masc.org
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