Thursday, January 28, 2010

Attorney General is looking into Gloucester

The controversy around the approval of a charter school in Gloucester isn't going away:
Ferrante told the News Service she is awaiting word from the mayor's office
to determine whether the city, the local school committee, or the taxpayers
have standing to sue. Word should come by next week, she said.

Ferrante, Tarr and Sullivan, a former Democratic state lawmaker, urged the
board to rescind the school's charter, adding that if members felt - as
several have contended - that they lack the legal standing to do so, that
they consult the attorney general for an advisory opinion. Board chair Maura
Banta indicated that the board had no intention to make a decision on
referring the matter to the attorney general.

After the meeting, Chester told the News Service the board had already
received outside counsel's opinion that they had no authority to revoke the
charter. Asked why there was no push to seek the attorney general's opinion,
Chester added, "I think the vast majority of the board members here don't
feel they need to know the answer to that question. They're satisfied with
the charter that's been authorized."

Reville told the News Service he'd be open to the attorney general's opinion
but that even if the board has authority to revoke the charter, most board
members appeared to feel "satisfied" with the approval process.

Coakley, during an appearance Monday on WGBH's "Greater Boston," volunteered
the Gloucester school as a topic her office is involved in now that she's
back from the U.S. Senate campaign trail. "Were right back in, with things
up in Gloucester, charter school issues, there's a lot of stuff going on
that I'm happy to get back to," she said.
(sorry, this is from State House News, which requires a subscription to sign in)

It also appears, o readers who are on boards themselves, that the BoE engaged in "serial communication" in which how one person would vote was communicated to others, thus violating the open meeting law.

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