After nearly two months of meetings, public hearings, ad-hoc groups, and secret plans; and with the proposal on the table virtually unchanged from what Dr. Hayes proposed on March 26th; tonight could finally be the night the School Committee will vote on the plan.
Or maybe not.
With the Mayor's eleventh hour announcement on Monday night, and his refusal to give anyone, including the School Committee, any advance word on what his plan involves, it is possible that a vote will be delayed yet again.
Scanlon will reveal what he has up his sleeve at the beginning of tonight's meeting. Where things go from there is anybody's guess. Whatever happens, it should be an interesting night at City Hall. "Political theater at its finest," in the words of School Committee member James Latter.
The meeting starts at 7:00 in the 3rd Floor City Council chambers. BevCam (Comcast Channel 10) will televise live.
1:30 UPDATE: As would be expected, speculation about the Mayor's plan is running rampant. Most of the talk centers around the option of closing only one school, most likely McKeown. Of course, a good sum of money would still need to be "found" (either within the city budget, or with some newly announced state money) to make this option work, and it still seems like class sizes would be an issue. Dan Mac Alpine of the Beverly Citizen joins in the guessing game.
This site aims to inform and mobilize Beverly parents to take an active role in all issues related to the funding and operation of the city's schools. It was launched in the spring of 2008, when the city saw its first-ever override attempt fail, followed by the closure of a nearly-new elementary school. Subsequent years have seen further cuts that have led to larger class sizes across the district. While the opening of an impressive new high school and plans to replace the city's aging middle school give us reason to be optimistic, the school community must be ever vigilant in demanding appropriate school funding by city and state governments, and better community communications from the district and School Committee.