No additional funding, still a major shortfall and there was NO SURPLUS!

Don’t be confused with the motion on the City Council agenda this week to transfer $1.1 million dollars from Chapt. 70 money to the School Dept. This IS NOT ANY NEW or ADDITIONAL Funding. This money is from the final State budget approved in July, Chapt. 70 funding MUST be used for education. The City Council vote in June was based on the House funding for Chapt. 70. Tuesday night is just a procedural vote, don’t believe any City Councilor who tries to spin this in any other way.

Even with this funding we are still facing a huge financial shortage because of non-payment of invoices, $200,000 in transportation that was not funded, other under funded accounts, over $400,000 in charges to the revolving Food Service Acct. that DESE has disallowed for this school year and other shortfalls and incorrect charges to revolving accounts.

Long before I decided to run for School Committee I was pointing out my concerns with the way the past Administration and School Committee were handling the Finances.

Sadly, the School departments financial state is even worse than I imagined but what’s even sadder is the former Superintendent who put us in this position still has blind support.

Supporters of the former Supt. including 3 current School Committee members and at least 2 uninformed/uneducated City Councilors (one who voted to hire him/ one who gave him a contract) are still in denial over his lack of fiscal management, dishonesty in dealing with the City, State and School Committee and looking to blame anyone and everyone else for his failures and in the case of the majority of the last school committee, their own failure to watch over his actions while he took advantage of their lack of financial knowledge and understanding.

Why anyone would be surprised by the former Supt’s lack of fiscal leadership after what transpired in Winchendon and his selection of a Asst. Supt. for Finance who had no Massachusetts Municipal experience is beyond me. His disrespect for the role of a School Committee member always bothered me.

The small handful of his supporters are trying to wage a misinformation campaign…Let’s claim there was a surplus, let’s blame Aramark, CTI and the present School Committee. Let’s blame the State Reps, State Senator and Boston for funding issues while ignoring the very clear FACT that the past Administration NEGLECTED TO PAY BILLS and mis-charged revolving accounts.

Councilor’s Conway and Kennedy’s pitiful attempt at misleading the public trying to show a surplus in the School Dept. last year, after non-payment of past bills have been shown was beyond frustrating! It shows either they don’t understand that it’s easy to show a surplus when you don’t pay what you owe or they are trying to justify their own mistake of blind support for a person who has put the public school system in a huge fiscal hole. In my opinion it’s a good thing neither of them are on the City Council finance subcommittee.

It’s easy to say there’s a surplus when invoices aren’t paid and the last Mayor and SC never questioned charges to accounts that should not have been charged or over charged accounts that were allowed to be run down to pennies without question.

The truth is we still have a large deficit in the School System and because of the abuse and overcharges to the revolving food service acct by the past administration, for the next few years we will be negatively affected.

It’s sad, embarrassing and unimaginable to hear other present and former elect officials after these facts have been clearly shown at public meetings, still try to still support the former superintendent and frustrating when they attempt to mislead the public about a surplus and support such financial malfeasance by the former Superintendent!

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