William Hart

We wish to note the knowledgeable and inclusive demeanor and derivative intelligence about public school education and its imperatives expressed by acting Superintendent of Schools William Hart.

At the School Committee meeting Monday night, he acted with a great deal of steadiness and understanding. He was prepared. He was articulate, and he spoke and presented himself with the demeanor of a full time superintendent who had been running things for quite some time.

In fact, he’s been at it less than a month, which made his performance all the more compelling.

We do not believe Superintendent Priya Tahiliani will be welcomed back to her position. She will remain on administrative leave until the end of her contract, most likely.

Whether or not acting Superintendent Hart is appointed full time superintendent by the present school committee or the new school committee to be convened in January is irrelevant.

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To spend or to save?

City spending continues at an extraordinary level.

Money is worth less than ever before with inflation.

It takes more and more money to meet the day to day expenses of running the city.

That means no matter how much new money comes in, new money isn’t worth as much as old money and it takes more and more dollars to carry out the same tasks.

What to do?

The financially prudent thing to do at this point, we believe, would be to incrementally cut city spending as a buffer against inflation and to prepare against an economic slow down which might happen.

This does not imply that the city should be laying off dozens of employees or must tighten its belt as an insurance policy against an uncertain economic future.

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The soccer stadium is crucial

Everett needs the Revolution Soccer Stadium worse than most residents and homeowners can right now imagine.


Because without a development plan OK’d by the legislature, the mayor of Boston and signed by the governor, Everett’s short term financial situation will grow a bit rockier – about $15 million a year rockier, if we have our figures correct.

This could likely impact residential property taxes as the tax shortfall must be made up.

The shutting down of the Mystic Power Plant in 2024 will deprive the city of a $15 million a year tax payment on the sprawling property.

The assessment situation is already a difficulty as the property was purchased for $25 million by Wynn Corporation, the owner of the Encore Boston Harbor Casino and Hotel.

That $25 million purchase drops the yearly taxes paid on a much lower assessment to a pittance compared with the $15 million a year the city has been receiving for more than 15 years.

Absorbing such a loss without a replacement for it will be difficult business for the city.

This is why the city is gathering forces to make sure the soccer stadium gambit becomes a reality.

The city needs the yearly payments about to go by the wayside as the Mystic Power Station shuts down completely and its tax status is totally changed by its new status on the books as just another piece of land with structures that aren’t used.

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Public left out of “secret” debate about soccer stadium here

Leader Herald Staff

Noted Boston Globe columnist Joan Venocchi wrote last week that building a soccer stadium on the contaminated site of a mostly shuttered power plant in Everett might be a good idea. But the way it has been fast-tracked in virtual secrecy by some of the usual politically connected suspects is classic Boston bad.

In an editorial last week, the Leader Herald endorsed the project because 43 acres of polluted and contaminated soil would be remediated by the Kraft Family and hundreds of millions of dollars of investment would follow with the construction of a 25,000 seat soccer stadium, but only if the soccer stadium could replace the former Mystic Power Plant.

Venocchi wrote that there has been no robust public conversation around the overall merits of Robert Kraft’s plan to bring the New England Revolution to Greater Boston. While stadium proponents have met with select environmental groups, there has been no broad-based public debate over the specific terms of agreement between the Kraft Group and Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria.

What she did not write is that public officials in Everett have remained in favor of the project without public debate, wondering frankly, how could the efficacy of a new soccer stadium be challenged by those wishing to preserve polluted and contaminated land along the Mystic River instead of remediating the land and building the stadium?

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Majority of state’s youngest students struggle to read

Leader Herald Staff Report

A new state-commissioned study of young elementary students found that more than half showed early signs of reading difficulties — more evidence that the state has a serious literacy crisis, despite its reputation for educational excellence, according to an article that appeared in the Boston Globe over the weekend.

The report, released Friday, according to the Globe, provides a first-of-its kind look at the reading skills of the state’s youngest children, whose reading prowess is not assessed by the state until the first MCAS exam in third grade.

This report includes public school students matriculating through Gateway Community schools and includes Everett.

The Globe described the results as “troubling:” Nearly 30 percent of students in grades K-3 were at high risk of reading failure, and as many as 20 percent showed signs of having dyslexia, a language processing disorder that must be addressed with specialized reading instruction, the Globe wrote about the study.

Low-income students, those learning English or receiving special education services, Latino students, and Black students were most likely to experience reading struggles, according to researchers with WestEd, a San Francisco-based nonprofit that conducted the analysis.

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