Making a Change: Students for Ipswich

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Making a Change: Students for Ipswich

Joshua Colemata

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uncle samIt is not news to anyone that Ipswich High School is not properly funded. Teachers have been laid off, supplies are even more limited than normal, and both teachers and the student body are suffering from it. In an even more frightening threat to Ipswich, as of next year Ipswich High School will take heavy hits in its arts, music, and drama programs, which are the heart of all Ipswich Schools.

In the coming weeks, every Ipswich citizen 18 or older will have an important decision to make: whether or not to pass a vote for an override. What is an override you ask? Well it is actually quite simple. An override is a decision made by the population of Ipswich to go over the allotted budget the schools were already given, and this extra money would come directly from taxes of the town of Ipswich. This has been a controversial decision every year. Last year the decision for an override failed by approximately 60 votes which is a very small amount of votes.

One common observation noticed is that at the town meeting there is one very important demographic that is missing from the vote. The demographic that is directly impacted by the override at the time, the students! Yes, the students, the people who are currently roaming the halls and suffering from the lack of materials as well as the lack of teachers, are the ones most impacted by these cuts. To vote you must be 18, so most of the students that can vote are the seniors, the “top dogs” of the school which have seen the Ipswich Schools at their best and their worst.

There are a few problems that cause senior students to not show up to the town meeting, where they are needed the most. The town meeting goes late into the night, which is a deterrent ( seeing as the seniors have classes the next day or they have homework that night)T The system to register to vote can be confusing to some, and the times in which everything needs to be done (registering, etc) can stop students from attending or voting.

In order to get student attendance up, an energetic group of students have taken initiative to spread awareness for the town meeting and the override. The student group, Students for Ipswich, is an organization that is supporting the Ipswich Public Schools. It is completely student run and was formed in March of 2015. Coming from their FAQ, which is available to view at  http://blog.studentsforipswich.org/, “Our first goal is to raise awareness of the severity of the budget deficit among the students and their families. Our second goal is to mobilize the voting population of Ipswich High School.”

On May 12th the town meeting will take place and this group is doing its best to raise awareness for the override, and with perseverance and enthusiasm Students for Ipswich will raise awareness and hopefully secure enough votes in order for the override to pass, giving future students the material to learn which have been provided to the students that came before.

 

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