C. Elliott – Req. City Mgr. Report On The Process Of Bidding Of School Bus Contract And Provide Report On Initiating Busing Of Lowell High Students This Year / Next Year.
It is bad enough that in my view this City Council and Manager took control of the entire High School Project despite what the City Charter and State Law clearly show and frustrating that the last few School Committee’s didn’t fight for the rights of a School Committee member.
My friend Warren Shaw advocates for the School Dept. and Superintendent to come under the City Manager and therefore the City Council but Massachusetts State Law isn’t structured that way and isn’t changing anytime soon.
The Education Reform Act already limits the involvement of the School Committee in many aspects of day to day operations but one thing that is clear is the School Committee sets Policy and that includes Transportation!
The City Council / Manager has to fund it but the City Council has NO SAY in who gets bused where and this motion on the City Council Agenda this week should be ruled out of order.
Councilor Elliott is NOT the Mayor and has NOT asked the Mayor or to my knowledge any School Committee member to address this issue and this City Council should NOT get involved in School Committee Policy!
If Councilor Elliott wants to also run the School Dept. then he should present a Home Rule Petition to dissolve the School Committee and place the School Dept. under the control of the City Manager.
Until that happens, this motion is way out of line and does not belong being voted on by this City Council.
Is the Councilor unaware of a budget deficit in the schools? The City Manager admits he can’t find $250,000 to complete (or not in the current state) the budget and Councilor Elliott wants to add additional operation cost to the Schools? Where is the money coming from? Last week he wanted a tax break, this week he wants to increase spending. How can you have it both ways?
I will register to speak Tuesday Night in opposition of this motion based on the Duties and Responsibilities of a School Committee Member. Someone has to fight for the position before the City of Lowell and this City Council just decides to eliminate School Committee responsibilities completely.
State statutes establish the responsibility of the School Committee to provide transportation services for students transported to and from home and school and to and from educational programs. With respect to students being transported, a written policy statement is required to provide the school committee, administrators, school bus contractors, students and parents with uniformly applied guidelines. Such a policy should be widely disseminated and clearly understood by all. This facilitates impartial administration and consistent operation, provides a convenient accessible statement of objectives of the system, and affords a better understanding of the relationship of the transportation operation to the educational system. A written policy statement also provides a framework within which the school committee and administrators can issue operating directives.