Let’s make the 2019/2020 School Committee race about Fiscal Responsibility!
Does the public support a School Committee willing to hold a Superintendent and administration responsible or do they support Committee members and candidates allowing funds to be misused, over spent and budget deficits resulting in owing the State Food Service account $2,000,000 while allowing a $50,000 embezzlement ?
The night we voted to place the Superintendent on Administrative leave, I explained in details my reasons and showed evidence supporting my stance here on this blog. In my opinion what had happened in Winchendon was happening here in Lowell
The supporters of the former Superintendent have to explain their loyalty to one man over 16,000 students for the UTL Leadership (Not rank and file members) it’s about the $$$ not the Students!
I want to recognize and Thank the LSAA and Clerical Union Presidents and members, the OVERWHELMING MAJORITY of the School Dept. Staff, especially the UTL members (Teachers and Para’s), Principals, Asst. Principals, Guidance Counselors, Social Workers , Dept. Heads, Food Service workers, Library Aides, Custodial, Security and Clerical staff, who stayed home July 18th , showing in my view their support for the right of the Lowell School Committee to do their job, the job they were elected to do by the voters of Lowell, the job the Education Reform Act clearly spells out belongs to them when it comes to dealing with the Superintendent and who have since that night shown more concern over the financial mess and the negative effects on students than concern about the Superintendents status unlike the UTL leadership who continue to show an unexplainable concern and support for one man than any concern for the thousands of students or their own union members who have been negatively affected by the fiscal chaos
According to the Dept. of Education – City of Lowell District Profile we had 14,436 Students in the system during the 2017/2018 school year translating to somewhere between 6,000 -7,000 families.
Based on those numbers less than 1% of registered families came out to speak to support the former Superintendent
When we voted to place the Supt on PAID administrative leave, at the 13 minute and the 41 Minute mark you will hear the comments of 2 candidates who spoke in favor of keeping that administration and at the 1:20:11 minute mark my comments on why I supported the motions.
I’ve included a copy of the fiscal audit and DESE Opinion on a Supt. submitting a budget without a vote of the school committee.
1. Unacceptable Oversight of the Operation and Management of the District’s Budget . and Business Practices.
2. Insubordination toward the Lowell School Committee.
3. Failure to Respond to Alleged Safety Violations.
4. Improper Management of Lowell Public School Personnel.
5. Failure to Timely Respond to Lowell School Committee Motions’
6. Failure to Follow Sound Business Practices when Soliciting Bids/Proposals for Student Bus Contract.
The above represents an account of your failure to comply with your contractual obligations as a Superintendent. Additional performance issues remain under review and the Lowell School Committee Committee reserves all rights to supplement this letter and to provide additional details regarding the matters for which your termination is contemplated.
Pursuant to Article 5 of your Contract, and based on good cause, the Lowell School Committee hereby serves this Notice of Contemplated Termination. Pursuant to your contract, you have the right to elect a hearing before the School Committee within 30 days of receipt of this notice. Should you choose not to elect a hearing, your termination will be effective on the thirtieth day, or the date you notify the Committee that you will not be requesting a hearing, in the event you decide to not elect a hearing.
DESE Opinion on Superintendent submission of a budget without a vote
———- Original Message ———-
From: “O’Donnell, Robert F (DOE)”
Date: March 14, 2018 at 3:31 PM
Subject: RE: Submitting Budget to City – DESE Opinion
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.
From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Monday, March 5, 2018 9:39 AM
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.