Council Should Have Been Able to Weigh in on School Funding

Due to the events of last Monday’s City Council meeting, I feel compelled to write this letter. One of the biggest topics going around the City the past few weeks has been regarding the money for low-income students procured by Sen. Sal DiDomenico.

This money from the State is intended to provide much needed relief to Everett’s underfunded school system. Mayor Carlo DeMaria appears to have decided that the money, $2.5 million, should go somewhere else instead of being used to reduce class sizes. Councilor Michael McLaughlin and I had planned to request the mayor appear before the City Council at a special meeting to discuss this important issue. The ramifications of his decision not only affects the quality of our community’s educational system, but also our state senator’s ability to obtain additional funding for any City project by raising the question at the State House whether funds will go where they were intended.

Unfortunately this discussion will not occur due to the use of Parliamentary procedure by some members, effectively blocked any efforts or comments by Councilor McLaughlin and myself on this issue.

One of the co-sponsors for the piece spoke against it and sent it to the School Finance Review Committee, which is conducted by the Mayor. As the Council President, I have striven to ensure each member’s voice is heard. It is frustrating to not be allowed the same courtesy. Ultimately, if the Mayor decides to apply the monies, it will come before the City Council to appropriate the funds, but the Council missed an opportunity to weigh in and side-stepped the issue for now.

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