Mandated Health Curriculum, Libraries and Science for students sacrificed for adult ed !

I was surprised to learn that the State has a mandatory Comprehensive Health Curriculum that the City of Lowell doesn’t follow. I didn’t know about that until I heard Supt. Durkin say that at a funding session with Brockton a few weeks ago.

It added to my frustration with this and past School Committees. They and since I am a member of the current committee I guess I have to say we (though I have been very vocal about my opposition) continue to bring cuts in that take away programs that directly negatively impact students yet continue to spend HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of DOLLARS on ADULT EDUCATION not ONLY FOR LOWELL ADULTS but according to their own website :

Adult Residents of the Greater Lowell area. This includes the residents of Lowell, Billerica, Chelmsford, Dracut, Dunstable, Tewksbury, Tyngsboro and Westford.

What is the cost for classes?
Classes are FREE to adult residents of Greater Lowell.

I understand the need for educating Adults, it makes them better workers, citizens and family members. Lowell’s Adult Ed program is a model for others, it’s been around a long time.

However when it comes to educating students and providing them programs versus spending money on Adult Ed, I will choose students. Looking at State LAW and NET School Spending, Adult Ed isn’t mandated by the State or the City of Lowell, it doesn’t count towards NET School spending and you cannot use Chapt. 70 (State supplied funds) money to pay for it.

It is 100% the WILL and WANT of a School Committee who do have a Legal and Fiduciary responsibility to provide education to grades K-12 to decide to spend a portion of the City’s CASH Contribution to pay salaries (this year $648,000.00 or 4% of the cash contributed by the city) and to allow the City to use the cost of Parking for these students against their Net School Spending Obligations (In 2018 $27,255.00)

When you eliminate Science classes in elementary schools, eliminate Elementary and Middle School Libraries, eliminate Social Workers and School Psychologist and propose to eliminate Middle school Band while NOT OFFERING A MANDATED Comprehensive Health Curriculum and instead spend money on Adults.

I have to ask why? It’s NOT what a School Committee Member is supposed to be doing, which is Educating and advocating for the students!

If you think we should offer these programs over Adult Edcontact a school committee member and let them know!

The Comprehensive Health Curriculum includes the following…

Disease Prevention and Control

Safety and Injury Prevention

Tobacco, Alcohol, and Other Substance Use/Abuse Prevention

Violence Prevention Disease Prevention and Control focuses on factors contributing to chronic, degenerative, and communicable diseases, genetic factors, methods for detection, and strategies for prevention. Attention to these factors is present in many of the other areas in the Framework as well.

Safety and Injury Prevention includes information to promote knowledge and skills for personal safety and prevention and treatment of intentional or unintentional injury.

Tobacco, Alcohol, and Other Substance Use/Abuse Prevention addresses safe and unsafe substances, how these substances can affect the body and health, and the significance of drug dependence.

Violence Prevention addresses verbal and physical actions that bring harm to a person’s body, feelings, or possessions and the aspects of sound character and conflict resolution that can reduce the incidence and influence of violence on individuals, families, and communities.

The Safety and Prevention Strand is designed to help students examine how they make decisions and weigh the probable consequences of their actions. Students consider risk in their personal lives, including the need to take risks such as standing up for one’s opinion and the need to avoid other risks associated with dangerous situations or actions. The purpose of this Strand is to inform students so they may apply and defend health-enhancing decisions.

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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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2 Comments

  1. Since adult education is not part of net school spending, it should be treated separately.  Is it an issue because the LPS do the educating? If separate, it should not be an either/or situation.  The real problem is due to the fact that the total school budget is precariously close to the mandated minimum.  It is difficult for the City to raise that unless the residents can be assured that there is no (minimal) waste in the school system.  For example, if we want to retain competitive salaries for an urban school system, we cannot add to that excessive perks such as uncapped sick leave buyback.  (For that I would prefer to see a current year buyback rather than a termination year buyback). I am sure the City is going to be strapped with the capital investments coming up, but I would push for 1) a fair agreement on maintenance of effort charges and 2) a gradual increase in the City’s cash contribution to a higher goal in excess of the NSS requirement. (set a goal for 10% above NSS to be achieved over a 5-year period, for example).

  2. As far as I can tell, parking costs for adult ed do not qualify as net school spending. Is there a written agreement with the school committee that allows the city to include this?

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