Mayor looks to pack school committee

Move seen to unseat Supt. Tahiliani

By JOSH RESNEK

Superintendent Priya Tahiliani’s leadership of the School Department does not include the mayor’s imprimatur and his voice, as the mayor sees it.

As a result, the mayor is apparently putting together a slate of candidates who will run for the School Committee in November with the hope of ridding himself of the superintendent’s audacity, according to a variety of people inside and outside of the School Department and the School Committee.

The plan is to pack the School Committee in the November Election, to be followed by a vote to force the superintendent out of her position.

All the present members of the School Committee are apparently aware of the mayor’s effort now underway to pack the School Committee with political allies, instead of independent education-minded voices, according to a wide variety of sources familiar with the effort.

“The public will make its own decisions (about packing the School Committee). The mayor hasn’t had a good track record of getting others elected. As for the superintendent, I voted for her. She was my pick. I’m going to make sure she succeeds,” said School Committeeman Frank Parker.

“I have heard of this. I have heard the names of possible candidates. I would advise them not to do this. The mayor cannot elect these people to positions on the School Committee. They have to elect themselves,” a member of the School Committee told the Leader Herald Monday morning.

“The business of the schools should be run professionally, not politically. Do as I say, or you’re gone, as the mayor puts it, is just not right. It is wrong. It is a sad day for the city if this happens,” said another member of the School Committee who wished to remain unnamed.

To date, the mayor has allegedly chosen three to five candidates who have apparently agreed to run.

This includes a high-ranking city official and his mother, an Everett firefighter, and several others who are said to be planning to make a run.

Except for Parker, the School Committee packing plan has elicited not a public word from the membership of the School Committee.

Tahiliani is said to be aware of the push to pack the School Committee.

“Priya’s up for a fight,” Parker said of the superintendent. She declined to comment on the issue.

Many School Department administrators and employees are also said to be aware of the mayor’s plan.

Another School Committee member who wished to remain unnamed said many school teachers throughout the EPS system have expressed some knowledge of this mayoral packing scheme.

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