Today's Telegram article is a report based on Tuesday's budget hearing (a note for newswatchers: this isn't unusual. What happened on Tuesday at and around City Council meetings generally gets strung out over the course of the week in the Telegram. It makes it a bit difficult to be timely in responding to what happens at one Tuesday's in time for, say, the next Tuesday's meeting.).
It's the quote from Councilor Palmieri that is most telling when it comes to how the City Council sees school funding:
“I want to give the School Department more money, but not just a blank check. We wouldn’t have any control over where that money would go or how it would be used.”
Now, the City Council isn't supposed to have any control over where school funds go or how they'd be used; it doesn't fall under their purview. I'm sure Councilor Palmieri knows that. What he speaks to, however, is the breakdown between the School Department and the City.The lack of clear communication has created an atmosphere of doubt on the part of some (most?) city councilors. They're perceiving the School Department as some sort of black hole into which money is poured.
This isn't entirely the fault of either the School Department and the School Committee. There doesn't, from the outside, appear to be a clear line of communication between, say, the City Manager's office and the Superintendent's office. There obviously should be. It's in the best interest of both parties.
It also doesn't feel as if all of the city councilors go out of their way to inform themselves about the school budget. If they're that concerned, they should. I would think, for example, that it might concern them that our state funding is in some jeopardy because our city isn't funding our schools at anything like the level they should be.