Sorry folks, now that we have a doable plan from Superintendent Kevin Lyons on the restructuring of our kindergarten and Newburyport elementary schools, I am no longer for a spring override.
I am enormously frustrated by the Newburyport School Committee (and believe me I think they have one of the toughest jobs in Newburyport, MA).
On the issue of an override, it appears to me that the Newburyport School Committee has seemed disjointed and unorganized. And frankly, it’s late in the game. Way too late in the game.
What many of the Newburyport City Councilors have been telling the Newburyport School Committee is true. To convince folks to pony up and raise their taxes takes time. Lots and lots of time, thought and organization, if there is a whiff of a hope of getting an override passed.
To quote in the Newburyport Daily News, March 13, 2007:
“(School Committee member Andrea Jones ) Jones said she believes city councilors’ reluctance to support the School Committee’s override request is driven by their own re-election concerns.
“Saying there’s not enough time is just the council’s excuse this week for not supporting the override,” Jones said. “It’s an election year, and anyone who’s running for re-election needs to be very careful how they talk about anything that affects taxes.” ”
It is my opinion that Ms Jones is way off base. This is not a selfish, self-serving Newburyport City Council. And if that quote is accurate, I am disappointed.
The Newburyport School Committee hasn’t even voted on whether or not to endorse Superintendent Kevin Lyon’s restructuring plan. (The Newburyport Daily News, March 13, 2007.)
One would think a vote on that very thoughtful problem solving solution would come first. And then a long and well thought out campaign, involving a well thought out plan, to ask the residents of Newburyport, MA to pony up money for education. Not the rush job that’s in the works now, no matter how well intentioned.
The Newburyport City Council is correct. If this vote fails (and I can tell you, at the moment, I would not vote for an override now), there is little hope of the getting the residents of Newburyport to take the Newburyport School Committee seriously in any way shape or form. This could be a major political blunder.
It seems to me that a leader like Superintendent Kevin Lyons, doesn’t come along very often, and it might be wise for the Newburyport School Committee to follow his lead.
What the Newburyport School Committee has been doing, in my mind, is really, really frustrating.