Submitting School Budget to City – DESE Opinion

I believe the voters will continue to support current School Committee members or candidates who are committed to do their elected jobs and watch over the Finances of the School Dept…. Should we have allowed the Food Service deficit to climb? Doesn’t the Powers and Sullivan findings confirm the fiscal chaos that was being conducted under the former administration? Are challengers saying it’s okay to supply incorrect information to the SC or despite what Ed Reform says submit a budget without the approval of the SC?

I did my job and even asked the Dept. of Elementary and Secondary Education for an Opinion…they confirmed my belief that the budget wasn’t supposed to be submitted without the School Committee voting on it…where was that SC who allowed this to happen, especially those that supported that administration?..A $2,000,000 balance owed to the Revolving Food Service Account along with this action are two of the many reasons why we needed a new Supt. and Administration!

From: []
Sent: Monday, March 5, 2018 9:39 AM
To: Sfinance
Subject: Submitting Budget to City – DESE Opinion

My name is Gerry Nutter and I am a recent member of the Lowell School Committee (Jan. 2nd 2018).

While reviewing the monthly budget report from the Supt. and then going back through the budget hearings for the 2017/2018 budget, I discovered that the Superintendent had submitted a budget to the city in June for the current School year that was NOT voted on or approved by the School Committee.

In addition the school committee was presented with budget “reductions” at an August 16th meeting but never informed that a balanced budget had already been submitted nor were they notified before I informed them at our regular meeting last night.

At that meeting the Supt. tried to brush it off as just a procedural “error” on his part but my concern is it took 8 months for this “error” to be brought to light.

I am requesting an opinion on the following.

Based on State Law, is there any reason a Superintendent can submit a budget to the City that has NOT been voted on and approved by the School Committee?

State law: The school committee reviews and approves budgets for public education in the district. (G.L. c. 71, [[section]] 37) The committee must hold a public hearing on the proposed annual budget. (G.L. c. 71, [[section]] 38N) The school committee has authority to determine expenditures within the total appropriation voted by the city or town.

Thank You

Gerry Nutter

From: Sfinance
Sent: Wednesday, March 07, 2018 4:32 PM
To: O’Donnell, Robert F (DOE)
Subject: FW: Submitting Budget to City – DESE Opinion

Hi Rob,

I’m not sure if you can help this person with their inquiry.


———- Original Message ———-
From: “O’Donnell, Robert F (DOE)”
To: “‘'”
Date: March 14, 2018 at 3:31 PM
Subject: RE: Submitting Budget to City – DESE Opinion

Mr. Nutter

Based on what you’ve described, the answer is: No, the superintendent cannot submit a budget to the city that has not been approved by the school committee.


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