Thursday, October 10, 2019

Questions I'd like to ask the Worcester City Council candidates

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a candidate seeking a Worcester City Council seat must act as if they are running for Worcester School Committee.

However, there are questions that one legitimately can ask a Worcester City Council candidate about matters under their purview that are related to education and the Worcester Public Schools. As a parent of children in the Worcester Public Schools and a Worcester super voter, here are some of mine:
  • In the FY20 budget, the Worcester Public Schools were funded at the smallest amount over the minimum required in three years. 
    Note that this was budgeted: it may well be less than this by the time we get done.

    The Worcester School Committee voted to continue their transportation contract with Durham for at least two more years, and this year, that contract will increase by $1M. That increase cannot be absorbed by state dollars. As this increase will further erode and possibly entirely erase the amount the city funds the schools over required, is it your intention to support funding beyond the net minimum, more in line with other districts?
  • Should the House support and the Governor sign (or the Legislature pass over his veto) the Student Opportunity Act, Worcester is among the districts that will most benefit. However, Worcester is also among the small number of districts that will, due to its slender voluntary funding, be required to increase local funding for schools. How do you intend to fund that increase?
    (Pro tip: it will be necessary before the ballpark is projected to bring in much, so that doesn't work as a answer.)
  • In May of 2018, the Worcester Public Schools, after years of requests, finally received a facilities master evaluation. It found that there was, at that time, a $75M backlog of urgently needed repairs in the Worcester Public Schools. The report was never taken up by the full Worcester School Committee nor by the Worcester City Council. As the body charged with captial funding, how do you plan to address this issue? 
more as I have them! 

No comments: