Running again to strengthen Fiscal Accountability and Fair And Equal Treatment for all Students

In my first term I believe I have kept my promise to seek fiscal accountability and have worked to file motions to be fair to all our students. I am running for re-election to continue to be an advocate and leader for fiscal accountability and fairness.

Here is a fairly large sample of the motions I have filed in my first year 2018, seeking an agreement for maintenance of effort which still has not been resolved ..advocating with Andy Decouteaux to apply for MSBA funding, requesting inspection which were not done , repeatedly trying to reach agreement on a new maintenance of effort agreement. We need someone who’s not afraid to keep advocating and my promises is to continue to do so

MOTIONS
[By Gerard Nutter]:
School Committee look into creating a mandatory citywide recess policy for all elementary and middle school students.

Lowell School Committee work with Asst Superintendent of Curriculum to explore creating remote learning programs or blizzard bags to be used after 5 snow days.

Lowell explore permanently changing Good Friday to an Early Release Day rather than a no school day.

Superintendent Supply School Committee at next meeting what the projected cost is for a level funded 2018/2019 School Budget

Mayor to request the City Manager to break out the Transportation Cost and add as a separate Line Item under Schools, so Budget clearly reflects what the City pays for transportation and the amount of cash City is contributing to School Department

Request the Superintendent share the results of the recent Food Service Audit as soon as it becomes available.

FEB 2018 – Request the Superintendent to update the Committee on the status of New Maintenance of Effort Agreement with City and set March 1st to finalize and present to the Committee for approval at the March 7th meeting or Per Chap 603 CMR 10.00 we contact the Education Commissioner’s Office and request designee to conduct hearing.

Request Police Superintendent and SRO Sargent attend next SC meeting to present current safety measures in place at ALL Lowell Schools and make any recommendations to add or improve.

Administration Provide a report of how many students per Lowell schools enter into Lowell High Lyceum and how many test for entry.

Request the Administration to provide current school committee copies of the end of year fiscal closing process and request a meeting of the Finance Subcommittee to review or develop written policy by May 15th 2018.

School Committee vote to place a purchasing freeze on PO for items over $5,000.00 until they can be reviewed by entire committee or until School Committee receives and approves a report on budget expenditures for the remaining school year.

Request Administration to present by the first School Committee in January 2019 a plan to rezone the district to “neighborhood” schools – presentation should include est. transportation cost saving along with number of students and schools affected and what the new start and dismissal times will look like.

Request the Superintendent send the City Manager a letter (email) by June 29th Requesting on behalf of the School Committee, that the City conduct a complete Code Inspections (Building, Electrical, Plumbing – including heating/cooling systems, Water, Fire, Safety and Sanitary) of EVERY City School building and present the finding to the City Council and School Committee before the beginning of the 2018/2019 School Year.

Request Update on Student Activities Fund Audit – Food Service Audit and request a joint Finance / Personal subcommittee meeting to review findings and review / update policies on these accounts.

Request the Superintendent supply School Committee with a copy of Budget submitted to Auditor on day it is submitted and schedule a Finance Subcommittee meeting to review how information regarding the budget will be reported to the School Committee going forward.

Superintendent report why the passed motion of -” supply School Committee with a copy of Budget submitted to Auditor on day it is submitted” was ignored and not carried out considering the budget was submitted to Auditor on June 22nd.

Superintendent report on the submission on June 20th then disappearance on June 25th of a $478,460.00 transfer request for Regular Ed Transportation when the Munis Account showed that there was $100,088.65 encumbered and $853.49 available on June 15th 2018. Supt also provide each School Committee member a copy of NRT Transportation contracts by July 27th.

Administration Report if the School Dept. has applied for the STEM Equipment and Supplies Grant Program with the Commonwealth and if not, look into applying.

Per recently completed Citywide Facilities study – School Department, City Building Department, and Fire Department perform a comprehensive assessment of all interior and exterior doors and associated locking mechanisms at all schools and provide cost to repair/replace based on these findings.

August 2018 – Mayor convene “Special Meeting” between School And City Council Finance subcommittee with the Supt. and CITY MANGER the week of Sept. 10th to finalize the Maintenance of Effort Agreement for the 2018/2019 School Year and to discuss the need for the City of Lowell to properly fully fund transportation per MA. State Law and cease decreasing the city’s total Cash contribution it provides the schools.

Request Superintendent and Mayor ask the City Manager to fully staff each fire station located near city schools to insure our students safety until proper repairs have been made especially in light of Collins Center Report to the City which states “Given nationwide concerns about school safety at the present time, it is unacceptable to have doors that do not lock property and/or emergency exit doors that do not open or are otherwise nonfunctional.”

Request that the Facilities, School Buildings and Transportation Subcommittee meet to come up with a priority list of school repairs and improvements that are currently needed in our schools. Richard Underwood should be in attendance for this meeting.

Request that the Superintendent arrange a joint meeting of the Facilities Subcommittees of the City Council and School Committees to discuss these priorities and to set in motion, the paperwork that will seek assistance for these repairs and improvements from the MSBA

SC request Mayor to direct City Auditor to provide copies of all correspondence between his office and the School Dept. regarding the 2018 Fiscal year relating to transfers, issues with invoices, over payments, items he rejected and how/why he accepted the Fiscal 2018 budget without a vote of the School Committee Authorizing it.

Request Mayor to ask City Solicitor’s Office for clarification / ruling on when/if School Department can hold a meeting at a public school relating directly to issues/concerns at that school (parents invited to meet at a school on particular issue) and whether Press can ever be kept out.

School Committee VOTE to keep open The Laura Lee Therapeutic Day School as a functioning, needed School building and request City Manager to formally remove it from the Surplus City property list and inform the City Council and residents of Lowell, Nullifying the Vote by the Lowell City Council of June 20th 2017.

Request update from City Manager on status of Fire Code Violations, Sanitary Code violations /concerns and if ANY of the safety issues noted in Collins Report have been addressed.

Schedule a series of Finance Subcommittee meetings at 5:00 pm before the next 3 SC meetings to review process failures in our Financial department and what processes and procedures have been put in place to prevent the financial fiasco we have been left with.

Vote to request the Mayor file a motion requesting City Council direct the City Manager to break out cost of Transportation and Adult Education from Cash contribution provided by the City in budget and not act on any Council requests until it is voted on.

Request by first School Committee meeting in January, for City Manager’s Office to provide to the School Committee, copies of all documentation justifying the trash increase from $169,064 in 2014 to $322,037 in 2015 – $341,095 in 2016 and $339,943 in 2017 based on this formula in the Maintenance of Effort Agreement

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.

Author: Gerry Nutter's - Looking at Lowell

I'm BACK...! I've followed the finances and issues with the City of Lowell and the Lowell School Dept. for the past 8 years while blogging and contributing to Saturday Morning Live! After serving 1 term on the School Committee I am back with my view on the events, people and politics of Lowell.

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