DISCLAIMER:The following is my personal opinion and may not be agreed with or supported by a majority of the School Committee.
I 100% believe that the public / voters will remember those current members and challengers who supported and to this day continue to support the fiscal mismanagement that has left us owing the State $2,000,000.00 …Lowell cannot allow that type of supposed leadership to continue!
Supt/ Dr Joe; Boyd continues to put together an outstanding leadership team with Friday’s announcement of Dr. Jim Hall.
Our present team led by Supt. Boyd includes Dr. Linus Guillory as our Chief Schools Officer and Latifah Phillips as our Chief Equity and Engagement Officer and adding / promoting Atty Jim Hall who will now be rightfully called Dr. Jim Hall to the position of Chief Operating Officer to go along with Assistant Superintendent of Finance & Operations Billy Jo Turner and Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment Robin Desmond (who BOTH along with Dr. Guillory have their Supt. license) along with one of the best and unrecognized but invaluable staff member Minerva Palazzo, Confidential Secretary to the Superintendent , provides Lowell with the best Administration team we have seen in many many years.
In my opinion it is now up to the School Committee to not only support the Supt. and staff but to clearly define and agree on what EXACTLY the lines are between the responsibility of a School Committee and that of the Supt. and his team.
We cannot allow ANY SC member to walk around freely as if they are the one in charge and not follow policy and procedures when it comes to visiting schools and Central office. We cannot allow members to demand hiring of people, to tell staff during prolonged negotiations they “should have settled sooner cause we have no money left for them”, tolerate a member going on a cable show to accuse our Teachers and Staff of Abusing Sick Time with no report or any evidence to support such a claim and above all we cannot allow the School Committee to micromanage or allow them to NOT Vote on a Budget, Allow misuse and over expenditures of funds nor allow another $2,00,000 deficit while still supporting the people who put us there and want to reward that mismanagement with hundreds of thousand of taxpayer dollars being paid to that person.
Think about this..it took 3 years to owe the State Food Service Account over $2,000,000 (roughly $666,000 plus a year) and yet two current members according to the Executive session minutes just released wanted to reward that by paying over $250,000 to the person responsible for that deficit!
I was willing to allow the former Supt. the opportunity to stay on payroll until the end of Dec. (might have cost us approx. $100,000) but it allowed a mutual more cooperative less antagonistic separation.
At the upcoming August School Committee meeting I will be filing the following motions to try to make clear to all current members and those wanting to be members a defined role of the SC and Supt. so that there is no doubt or confusion about what the role is between each of us and how we has a collective School Committee (By Law a single member has or is supposed to have ZERO power) can support this Administrations efforts to improve the Lowell School System.
1) Request a “Special Meeting” of the Lowell School Committee with Dr. Boyd and any of his administrators before the beginning of School to clearly define the Administrations exceptions of the role of the Supt. and School Committee so that we are a united unit working together to bring about positive growth in the Lowell School System.
2) Request a Policy Subcommittee meeting before next school committee meeting at 5:30 to review and reinforce the Policy regarding School Committee members visiting Schools and Central Office.
I truly believe that Dr. Boyd and the administration he is building will lead Lowell to be one of the best districts in the State IF and I understand it is a big IF, the School Committee and political people allow them to succeed by supporting and NOT interfering or trying to Micromanage the School Dept.