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.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Scanlon: Hayes "will have to make it work"

The Boston Globe finally gets around to covering the story today. Not much new information here, and they missed much of the drama of this past week, but it does detail some of the objections to the Mayor's plan. Some excerpts:

Hayes said he is concerned that the mayor's plan may not eliminate the entire deficit, which could result in a need for further cuts.

He said he also worries that the adopted plan may not be sustainable, noting that it provides for roughly $1 million less in salary reductions than his plan.

Scanlon said his plan is based on figures provided by the superintendent.

He said any shortfall it fails to cover would be small in relation to the overall budget and "the superintendent will have to make it work."

Hayes said that the mayor's plan will require a complete redistricting of the city's elementary schools, while his plan would only require a reassignment of students from the McKeown to two other schools.

But Scanlon said he believes "some level of redistricting is quite appropriate" to address an imbalance in the numbers of at-risk students now at the various schools.

The story also says that BOTH the the pro-override group, Yes! for Beverly, and the anti-override group, Citizens for Fiscal Responsibility, oppose the Mayor's plan.

Elliott Margolis, who founded the anti-override group Citizens for Fiscal Responsibility, said it is "totally irresponsible for the mayor to take funds that are designated for trash removal and give it to the schools."

Joan Sullivan, a leader of Yes for Beverly!, called the mayor's plan "just another set of cuts to our schools and another Band-Aid solution.

"This plan will close our fourth school in five years, lay off teachers and staff, increase class sizes, cut programs, and redistrict students all across Beverly."

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