Non-Negotiating Season School Committee Meetings

The contrast is huge between these school committee meetings when there’s no contract under negotiation versus when there is. An interested resident who came to tonight’s meeting and took it as representatives would surely have trouble motivating him or her self to come to others. They’re discussing the budget, but a viewer would have to know quite a bit of back story in order to discern the interesting points. (Frankly, I’m pretty well versed in the controversies, and I’m not finding much of note.)
7:53 p.m.
As at last night’s town council meeting, the longest discussion comes with small-town stuff, in this case, over the names that will be included on the plaque that will commemorate the completion of the new school buildings. School committee member Sally Black suggested a second plaque to capture some language suggested by fellow member Carol Herrmann (thanking the citizens of Tiverton). Danielle Coulter asked the cost per ($1,500 each) and suggested that all changes be made to the one plaque.
8:27 p.m.
The committee has been discussing the possibility of pulling fifth graders from the middle school and putting them into the elementary schools. It’s clear that Superintendent Bill Rearick opposes the move, and he presented the cost-benefit analysis as a dramatic cost to the district. Carol Herrmann asked Mr. Rearick for his rational for including new hires at the rate that he has (e.g., creating a 4/5 position), and his response was that the numbers were all discussed with the principals, but that he didn’t have the supporting materials with him.
I’m not sure what is implied by the fact that the superintendent didn’t bring all relevant material to a meeting at which the elected officials to whom he reports would be considering the issue, but it seems very unlikely to indicate something positive.
8:38 p.m.
During discussion of the stimulus money, Herrmann asked whether decreases in the town’s budget for the schools would disqualify the town for stimulus funds. Rearick said that to be his understanding.
One wonders why spending millions of additional dollars on schools doesn’t qualify as “maintenance of effort.” It’s also curious that government handouts somehow always require other levels of government to spend more money themselves.
It’s almost like a conspiracy.

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