Clive McFarlane's column today sounds a bit like a set-up for a round of boxing. I wouldn't count on it being quite that dramatic, but the City Council's Committee on Education and the School Committee's Standing Committee on Business are holding a joint meeting tonight at 7:15 in the Levi Lincoln chamber (the other end of the third floor hallway).
The agenda just says a FY10 budget update; the two things that may or may not be up for discussion are the percentage taken from grants given the School department and the possibility of the City taking over the Schools' Human Resources department (now item 5d on tomorrow's Council agenda).
The first item has been a flat raise proposed by the City Manager; he has said that he can simply impose it. It sounds, from Clive's column, as though the schools may have gotten a different interpretation of that (what happens if both ask the City Soliciter for an opinion on that? Or does someone have to get outside counsel?). This could lead to the less-than-ideal situation of two parts of the City having a legal disagreement.
The second is more of a red herring. The Human Resources merger cannot happen without the agreement of both the Council and the Committee. It's not clear that a majority of the Council supports the idea, let alone the School Committee. Other than furthering the bad blood between the Council and School Committee--and perhaps making it look like they're doing something--I'm not at all clear on why the Council has proposed this.