Looking at this weeks School Committee meeting motions and agenda items

This Wednesday the school committee meets and you can find the full agenda including motions here.

One of the first items we will address is one that needs correction . It concerns the minutes from our first meeting and last vote we took on January 3rd at that meeting. From the posted agenda minutes

Ms. Doherty made a motion to request that the School Committee endorse the City Council’s intent to explore changing Lowell’s preferred project option for the Lowell High School building project and direct the Superintendent to notify the Massachusetts School Building Authority of the School Committee’s endorsement; seconded by Mr. Nutter. 7 yeas APPROVED

Unlike the City Council who did support the motion 9-0, at our meeting which can be found on LTC at the 1:03 mark when we voted Mr. Decouteaux clearly states NO. The vote was 6-1

I was very disappointed at the lack of unity. The voters have spoken, Mr. Decouteaux’s neighbors some who he called NIMBY’s made it clear where they want the High School. Councilor’s Mercier and Elliott at least are gracious and follow the will of the voters. In my opinion Mr. Decouteaux refused to show respect to the voters.

Which is why I will Not support appointing Mr. Decouteaux to the School Building Committee but will support Connie Martin who has more tenure and is a downtown supporter.

The Superintendent provides us a response to my motion of last week.

by Gerry Nutter]: Superintendent supply School Committee at next meeting what the projected cost is for a level funded 2018/19 School Budget

Salaries are estimated to increase by $6,100,000 over the 2017/18 budget. If all other budget accounts remain level funded, the School Department would need an increase of $6,100,000 from Chapter 70 State Aid and Contributed Cash from the City. This estimated increase accounts for the salary base and step increases as well as estimated retirements for full-time staff.

I’ll follow that up with some questions about level services.

Dominic Lay has a couple motions including this one.

[By Dominik Hok Lay]:
Request the superintendent to establish a minimum class size of 10 students in LHS elective classes, before it can be offered. The Superintendent must approve all exceptions

I believe something similar was requested a few years ago and the School Committee was given this report concerning class enrollment. (sorry can’t upload excel)

I thought coaches and advisors stipends were covered under Union contracts? We see the rising cost of salaries on the budget straight from the Superintendent. Since this past school committee just settled on a four year contract with a 9% increase, why is a member already looking to increase certain compensation? Especially a member whose son is the choral advisor?

[By Andre Descoteaux]:
Request the superintendent to establish a Special Task Force to review and recommend updates to the current LHS stipends, including but not limited to: Athletic Coaching, Student clubs, Band, and Chorus.

One item that highlights the commitment of this manager and his Administration with support from the last few City Councils is the response to Jackie Doherty’s motion on Maintenance of Effort by the city. A three year comparison was supplied.

While I have questions and concerns over a couple of the numbers based on the previous years the huge increase in the line item for maintenance of buildings shows their commitment. Look at the previous 4 years from the report by the former Deputy.

City of Lowell NSS (FY11 – FY15)

Tune in Wednesday Night at 6:30 to hear discussions on all of the above and more.


Published by Lowell School Committeeman Gerry Nutter

I've been interested in Schools since I worked at the Greater Lowell Tech and substitute taught in Dracut. I've followed the finances and issues with the Lowell School for the past 8 years while blogging and contributing to Saturday Morning Live! Currently serving my 1st term.

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