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, June 30, 2008

Council Votes on Trash Fee, School Maintenance

With two Councilors voting for it after they voted against it last week, the City Council voted to keep the trash fee at $100 for FY09. Council President Tim Flaherty, who originally proposed a $20 reduction in the fee, explained that since he didn't have the votes to approve the reduction, a vote against the full $100 fee could result in no fee at all next year. Wes Slate also voted for the full fee, after voting for the reduction last week.

For procedural reasons, there will need to be yet another vote on the fee sometime in July.

The Council last night also debated, and voted unanimously to have the city Department of Public Services take over maintenance of the school buildings and grounds.

The change still needs to be approved by the School Committee.

DPS Director Michael Collins explained how the restructured department would work, with school custodians reporting to DPS, but answerable on a daily basis to the school principals. The school maintenance budget would still be controlled by the school department.

The plan has been studied for some time by members of the Council and School Committee, and most Councilors seemed generally receptive to the idea, as a way to control costs through efficiencies.

Yesterday's Salem News ran an editorial supportive of the plan.