School Committee MUST HIRE next School Business Manager (Finance person)

DISCLAIMER:The following is my personal opinion and may not be agreed with or supported by a majority of the School Committee.

III. Staffing
A. Hiring authority for particular positions

1.Superintendent, assistant/associate superintendents, school business administrator, administrator of special education, school physicians and registered nurses, legal counsel, supervisors of attendance

State law: The school committee is responsible for appointing personnel to the following positions:

Superintendent: The school committee has the power to select and terminate the superintendent, and to establish his or her compensation. (G.L. c. 71, [[section]] 37)

Assistant or associate superintendents: On the recommendation of the superintendent, the committee may establish the positions of and appoint assistant or associate superintendents, who shall report to the superintendent. The superintendent recommends to the school committee candidates for appointment to the position of assistant or associate superintendent. The committee shall approve or disapprove the appointment, but shall not unreasonably withhold its approval. If the superintendent requests, the committee shall explain its disapproval of a recommended candidate. The committee sets the compensation of the superintendent and the assistant or associate superintendents. (G.L. c. 71, [[section]] 59)

School business administrator; administrator of special education; school physicians and registered nurses; supervisors of attendance; legal counsel:The Education Reform Act did not change several pre-existing statutes that refer to the school committee appointing certain personnel. G.L. c. 71, [[section]] 41 states that “a school committee may award a contract to … a school business administrator for a period not exceeding six years… .” G.L. c. 71B, [[section]] 3A states that “a school committee … shall appoint a person to be its administrator of special education.”

Based on my 6 months in elected office and looking at the way the finances have been managed (or not) by this administration. In the short time alive served Ive seen accounting practices that my 9th grade teacher Mr. Roberts taught us were improper.

I’ve seen a budget not brought to the School Committee for approval, cuts voted on in August not transferred for 6+ months and items in the new budget not clearly explained to the School Committee.

I will push for the School Committee to be the hiring authority for the next Business Manager. We don’t need an Asst. Supt. that falls under the supervision of the Superintendent, we need a person who understand Massachusetts Municipal Finance and who will work WITH the City Finance team and provide the School Committee with accurate and full information.

Just 1 example of the incorrect information we receive.

In the ridiculous 16 page $6.2 MILLION Dollar transfer request we have on tomorrow night’s agenda included is a request to transfer $25,031.00 from 512140 SCHOOLS-DATABASE ADMINI

In April when we received the monthly Financial Report from the Administration the report showed only $20,959 available for that Line Item.

This is just 1 of many issues I have with the way finances are managed. Many accounts show transfers in and out with very little rhyme or reason and a School Committee member shouldn’t have to request full explanations and check with the auditor for every transfer request brought forward.

We as a School Committee now more than ever need to be able to easily account for the use of our funds and trust the information we are receiving is correct. Under this administration I have no such confidence that is happening.

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