Seek reimbursement of Covid-19 relief aid
By JOSH RESNEK
The Everett School Committee has joined the Boston School Committee in petitioning the federal government to reimburse the city for COVID-19 relief measures it has paid for.
The school relief measures have caused Everett and most cities and towns to incur costs
that were not provided for in their budgets.
The major cost for Everett is a $400,000 out of pocket expense for Chromebook computers for students to be empowered as well as able to learn remotely.
Although online teaching has so far been a bust here, and in many working-class communities, Everett wants to be reimbursed nevertheless.
“I have 90 students,” an Everett High School teacher told the Leader Herald. “When I send out a study request to students online, the most I’ve heard back from at one time is nine.”
She said school officials told her not to teach new material to those who come online.
“I know I’m not supposed to say this, but the effort is not working. It is pathetic. Something needs to be done,” she added.
The school system has also spent additional funds it does not have to keep all 936 employees on the payroll during the school’s shutdown.
In addition, the schools have been feeding as many as 350 students a day at a cost estimated by school officials at $200,000 by the end of the school year.
The big question mark, the ultimate unknown quantity in all of this is what the federal government is going to do to reimburse the states so the states can reimburse the cities and towns so the schools can be whole in their budgets.
Whether or not this is going to happen remains a cause for approbation and speculation among school administrators as budget time approaches.
The state does not have the money to fill this gap.
School systems and cities and towns cannot overspend their budgets.
President Donald Trump and the US Senate have not been posturing as though they are going to bail out the states.
If the government doesn’t bail out the states, there will be massive cuts of school budgets across the state that no city or town can afford.
Teachers, administrators, employees of all kinds, programs and salaries will be cut, reduced or killed entirely.
The main suffering would be endured by the students.
Possible impact from the economic collapse could be a redoing of school department and public employee pension systems and the wholesale reinvention of public school education.
School Committeeman Frank Parker said it is essential that the federal government take care of the state’s shortfall so the Everett public schools can remain whole.
We hope the president was listening to Parker.
The school committee passed Parker’s measure, 7-0.