Friday, October 18, 2019

A budget exchange that may matter later

I didn't blog this last night (as I was out of battery), but there was a discussion later in the meeting that may matter later: Mr. Comparetto spoke to his item on the need for wraparound services and staff in every school, and of their being allowed to do their actual job rather than other things. Mr. Monfredo, responding, rather oddly remarked that while the Student Opportunity Act would get the district more money, it wouldn't be enough to get wraparound coordinators in every school., what? If the School Committee decides that's the most effective way of working on the issue of poverty in the schools, yes, there will absolutely be enough money for wraparound coordinators in every school. That's a pretty out-of-touch remark.

Mr. Foley said that he had been planning to wait to make a motion on the budget until the bill passed (wise), but since it had come up, he made a motion that either the full committee or the Finance and Operations subcommittee plan on holding a public hearing early on regarding use of the funds. Mayor Petty deflected it back to Foley, saying that it should probably be done by the subcommittee.

Miss Biancheria then stood to insist that it had to be done by the full committee, 'though her argument seemed to be about every member being included rather than about, say, public transparency.

I should note that Mr. Foley has brought this up more than once, most recently at the Legislative update held by the Worcester Educational Justice Alliance last week.

Anyway, as I've said elsewhere, we are going to need a more thorough and inclusive public budget process, and that was stepped towards last night.

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