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, October 29, 2009

Salem News Also Backs Scanlon

Today's Salem News has its endorsements for Beverly's Mayoral and other races. In all but one case, they reach the same judgments as this website did in yesterday's post.

For Mayor, the News says in choosing Mayor Scanlon:

He has overseen the renovation of all but one of the city's schools and...contrary to what his critics, including Burke, maintain, we believe Scanlon when he says the high-school renovations, essential to maintaining the school's accreditation, will be completed without putting undue strain on city spending or borrowing capacity. And we have full confidence he can come up with a plan to finance Beverly's share of the new, state-of-the-art regional vocational school in Danvers.
In the Ward 4 School Committee Race, the News says:

Gail Burke was instrumental in beating back an ill-advised effort to override Proposition 2-1/2 in 2006[sic]. But serving on the School Committee involves more than just saying no, and in her first term as the Ward 4 representative on that body, Karen Fogarty has impressed with her ability to balance the desire of parents for the best education possible with current budget realities. She deserves re-election.

We also agree with the News' judgment on the Ward races, where they endorsed former School Committee member Jim Latter in Ward 3, Kevin Hobin in Ward 4, and Judith Cronin in Ward 6. All have been strong supporters of the schools in the past, and we expect them to continue to be in the future.

The only race on which we differ with the News is on the Councilor-At-Large race. We feel that the city is in need of some new forward-looking vision. To us, the obvious choice to provide those new ideas is Mike Cahill. As we stated in our previous post, Cahill combines strong education credentials with more than ten years experience in elective office as a State Rep. In this new role, he could bring a welcomed outside perspective to the Council.

Both Paul Guanci and Bill Coughlin are worthy candidates with good records on the schools, but Coughlin's blanket statement that he would NEVER support an override for any reason, which he highlights on his campaign literature, makes us wonder if he could truly judge any future situation objectively.

The News, by supporting incumbents exclusively, and not even mentioning Cahill's candidacy, missed the boat on realizing the need to add some new vision to city government.

10/30 UPDATE: We are linking to a letter that was written by Karen Fogarty to answer many of the charges that have been made by Gail Burke. The Salem News declined to post it because there is not enough time for her opponent to respond in print. Should Ms. Burke wish to respond, she is welcome to do so in the comment section below.

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