Another Week, another City Council motion on School Busing.
Councilor’s Elliott and Mercier want to continue to make motions that fall under the responsibility of the Elected School Committee put in office by the voters of Lowell.
Apparently they either don’t respect the voters or they don’t respect the people the voters elected to the School Committee because they seem to want to take over School Busing.
This Week’s motion:
C. Elliott – Req. City Mgr. Contact UMass-Lowell Engineering Department To Conduct Study On School Busing In The City, Similar To MIT Study Conducted For Boston Schools That Improved Bus Times And Saved Millions In Costs.
Motions from the past few weeks:
C. Mercier – Req. City Mgr. Have Law Department Explore What Steps Are Necessary To Allow Children To Attend Neighborhood Schools And To Obtain Release From City Consent Decree.
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.
If you look at the funding for the City of Lowell School Dept. from the 2018 Budget Presentation you see that the City of Lowell expects to collect in taxes $141,045,987 you will also see that only approx. 12.875% of that or $18,005,691 was budgeted as a cash contribution to the School Dept.
Of that, the School dept. is forced by the City to pay for Transportation which is NOT included in NET School spending and this year is budgeted for $9,043,069 which leaves $9,220,512 or slightly more than 6.5% of local tax dollars being spent on Lowell Schools in direct cash contributions.
I propose since the Councilor’s want to take ownership and the cost of transportation by law is clearly the responsibility of the City, that we move the transportation coordinator position along with the total transportation cost, from the School side of the budget to the City side where it belongs.
I also would want the City to continue the cash contribution at its present level. That gives the School Department the entire 12.875% of tax dollars which would be $18,005,691 in cash contributions.
They could lessen their Chargebacks, the cash is better for the school department and the Schools would have funding for supplies, books and much needed technology.
Councilor’s Elliott and Mercier can run and be responsible for the transportation program since they are so concerned with it.