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.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Council Approves School Budget

Exactly three-months after this drama began, the City Council tonight approved the school budget, essentially ending (we hope) the debate for this year. The vote was 8-1, with only Councilor Don Martin voting against it, and happened in the blink of an eye, with no further debate before the vote.

We had expected (as it seems some members of the Council did) a vote on the trash fee reduction as well, but it looks like that vote will not happen tonight. (see above post)

One other bit of school news happened earlier, when Wes Slate stated that he intends to file a motion to amend the City Charter to make the Mayor the President of the School Committee, as is done in many cities including Salem. Stay tuned for more about this sure to be controversial subject.

Trash Fee Vote is back on again now. Will update soon.

6/27 UPDATE: A couple more details on the budget vote that were lost in the trash fee confusion last night:

Councilor John Burke voted for the school budget, saying it was the "responsible thing to do," but not before protesting what he called "blackmail" on the part of the Mayor. Pat Grimes also spoke about the "very unfortunate tactics of the Mayor" and said "It's very clear that Beverly has a flawed budget process."

Wes Slate spoke out against the anonymous comments on the Salem News and Beverly Citizen web sites that sprouted up on virtually every story throughout the process. This added to the divisiveness and "corrosive mistrust of anything and anyone involved in government and politics" in the community, he said.

But on a positive note he said said much of the debate has been "heartening" because so many people became involved in the process.

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