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.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Scanlon's Got a Secret Plan

It was another night of impassioned speaking at tonight's public hearing at Beverly High. Most speakers spoke against the Superintendent's plan, and in favor of the override.

After the public spoke, several School Committee members made brief statements, with at least three (Maria Decker, Paul Manzo, and Karen Fogarty) strongly supporting the override. Manzo also came the closest of all the members to indicating that he may vote against the Superintendent's proposal.

Mayor Scanlon then made the unexpected announcement that on Wednesday night he will "Put forward a proposal, which, if approved, will still be painful, but less painful than the proposal on the table" There were no details given, even when challenged by Committee President Annemarie Cesa, who told the Mayor that if they were to vote on Wednesday night as planned, they would need to know more details of his proposal before then.

Scanlon's refusal to provide any details of his plan before Wednesday's vote was also met with some heckling by the crowd.

5/13 UPDATE: The Salem News has a wrapup of the meeting and Scanlon's "eleventh hour" plan. They also list the School Committee members' public positons on the override:

  • David Manzi, Ward 1: No
  • Paul Manzo, Ward 2: Yes
  • Jim Latter, Ward 3: No public position
  • Karen Fogarty, Ward 4: Yes
  • Annemarie Cesa, Ward 5: Yes
  • Maria Decker, Ward 6: Yes
Hayes has also stated his support of the measure "For one reason — class size."

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