Sunday Notes July 26th 2015

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If you look at the chart above taken from the States Website, it clearly shows the 75.1% of enrolled Lowell Students are categorized as Low Income. Meaning 24.9% would be above “low-income”.

If those 75.1% qualify for free or reduced lunch and there was also an existing program that would also give the other working class above low-income status Free meals Why wouldn’t the Lowell School Committee and the Lowell School dept. take part in that program?

Why isn’t or hasn’t a School Committee candidate asked about it? This is much more important than Lowell building another trade school. We have the opportunity to participate in a Federal Program to supply EVERY STUDENT in Lowell a free lunch and breakfast and until we are sure it won’t affect other grant funding for recording the number of low-income students we say To Hell with the working class families? Let them pay so we can make sure we can maybe get other money because of the number of low-income students.

If student “A” is categorized has low-income but student “B” is just above that level, we give student A free breakfast and lunch and tell student B, sorry bring or pay for your own. what sense does that make?

Isn’t it time that the average working class families and student gets SOMETHING? The Program is called C.E.P (Community Eligibility Provision) and after suggesting. Lowell NOT participate I was told that it was suggested at the last Lowell School Committee meeting that Lowell might want to look into it.

I would like a full explanation from BOTH the Administration and the current School Committee explaining why the city isn’t already providing free meals to ALL STUDENTS when they easily could and instead chose to make families above the low-income classification pay simply because those parents earn in some cases a few dollars more that puts them above the low-income level and if they is still the opportunity to participate this year even with the new school year a month away.

A wise man in Lowell once said about Lowell – Poverty is Big Business

With the announcement that Jim Leary is jumping into the Council race, it leaves Connie Martin has the longest-serving member. However doesn’t that also show the constant presence that is partially responsible for driving out 3 Supt. over eight years, constantly delays / drags out contract negotiations with the various unions and Supt. ? Why has she never asked for a city legal opinion on the possible conflicts between her employer CTI and the programs they run in the Lowell Schools?

Why is it a company like Springboard has never been given a chance here in Lowell?

Will any candidates for the Lowell School Committee address any of the above items or will they just be Happy playing musical chairs and hope they can grab one of 4 empty seats in November without having to discuss issues?

Is Bob Hoey really convinced that a new Trade School is the main focus of this campaign along with putting police in every school?

Has a parent it is beyond frustrating to watch the infighting, listen to Hoey and feel that the other candidates are afraid to tackle the issues head on and be willing to lead.

If I had more time and didn’t think the Sun would again use me as a piñata I’d consider running. There are serious challenges ahead for this school system including funding from the State and City, the High School renovation or move, the upcoming spike in middle school students and the need for adequate space, teachers union and Asst. Supt. contracts supporting this new Supt. and giving him the chance to succeed, improving all of Lowell Schools to acceptable levels, working with the city on a schedule to address maintaining and repairing the current school buildings we have and making sure ALL students get treated fairly.

I’m hoping some of the current people who have pulled papers will begin to discuss these issues and not just be willing to run just to get an open seat.

Suggestion to Bob Hoey, instead of wasting time talking about a new trade school, how about talking with Dracut and working out a deal to take 100 of their student slots for Lowell students? It keeps money and students in Dracut which they need. It eliminates a waiting list in Lowell and since Lowell gets more Chapt. 70 money the cost increase to the city would be minimal. Lowell already pays a large percent and just sued for more representation so having a hundred more students would help Lowell students and Dracut Schools.

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