Time for City to work with School Committee on new Maintenance of Effort Agreement

6.IV.[By Gerard Nutter]:
School Committee vote to formally abolish existing Maintenance of Effort Agreement with City and create a subcommittee of Asst. Supt. of Finance, Mayor and Finance Subcommittee Chair to begin negotiations for a new agreement for the 2019/2020 School Year for entire School Committee to approve. Mr. Nutter amended the motion to form a Subcommittee to work with the City to get a new Maintenance of Effort Agreement by March 1, 2019; seconded by Mr. Descoteaux. 6 yeas, 1 absent APPROVED

There are a number of reasons the School Committee needs to work with the city to create a New Maintenance of effort agreement.

In the current Maintenance of Effort excel report it shows we are charged $1,072,058.40 for school security services and $244,007 for crossing guards under Other fixed charges totaling $1,326,065.40


Yet the back up documentation supplied by the CFO shows the police Total including Crossing Guards and charges for Fire lanes and cross walk painting is a total of $1,075,558.00


So why is the city claiming an extra $250,507.40?

In addition it states in the original Maintenance of Effort Agreement Crossing Guards would be reported but NOT counted toward NET School Spending. There is nothing in the original agreement regarding fire. lanes and cross walk painting who added or okayed that?

Those totals are $272,316

The Maintenance of Effort Agreement also states the School Committee has to approve some discretionary charges like Trash Service, Snow Plowing, School Nurses and a few other items.

Those total over $3.8 million dollars, if the School Committee doesn’t approve those the City would need to find another way to meet their NET School Spending requirements,like having to supply a larger cash contribution.

If they provided transportation per the law and didn’t force the School Department to use over $9,500,00 of the $15,000,000 in the cash contribution they provide for transportation and Adult Education we would be able to provide more mental health personal like social workers and counselors.

Nowhere in the MOE agreement does it show we agree to cover fire department charges but with the large number of mental health issues we face, our firefighters are a huge part of responding and dealing with students in crises. I’m not sure why the City provided this information or if they use it towards NET School spending but Hopefully the firefighters union is using this information in their negotiations with the city.

Most of our education funding is from the State in Chapt 70 funding. The city’s cash contribution is less than 6.5% of the total property tax raised.

Here is the present MOE

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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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