A comment made in passing by Ms. Thompson during her presentation at the CPPAC meeting jumped out at me, as one who so closely followed the allocation of money last spring. She said (and I am paraphrasing here) something along the lines of, she didn't have enough money to save positions, so she moved money around to put money towards people rather than other things.
Now, I've got no problem with "people" as a priority. The problem is, this isn't Ms. Thompson's call. The School Committee is the body invested with the power to allocate funds along these lines, not the heads of departments. She said this (in the presence of at least one School Committee member) and no one blinked an eye.
To parallel: can you imagine Commissioner Moylan coming into a group of citizens and saying, "I didn't agree with the allocation the City Council made, so I didn't buy a new snowplow but instead funded another DPW position." No? This is the same thing.
The School Committee has oversight, but in order to truly have oversight, they have to use their oversight. It isn't happening. And that's a problem.