Mayor looks to pack school committee

Move seen to unseat Supt. Tahiliani


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.

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Mayor and School Department battle over funding

The Everett city seal on City Hall. (Photo by Jim Mahoney)


The battle is now intensifying between the mayor and the School Department over more than $1.5 million in funding that the School Department (SD) claims is theirs, and he claims it is his. The mayor and his CFO

Eric Demas, the chief supporter of the mayor and architect of Everett’s financial domain, did a simple transfer of money from one account to another, removing the money in question from SD accounts and placing it in the city’s account.

The only problem with the transfer of more than $1.5 million from School Department accounts to the city’s account, is that the SD had already spent more than $500,000 of the funding the mayor took away from the SD for mandatory spending, causing the SD to stumble just a bit when it appropriated money for expenses that were no longer there and had to use other money to meet its financial obligations.

It was almost a bit like the SD believing the money was there, writing checks to pay for services, and the checks later bouncing because the funds had been taken by the mayor.

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Off campus learning called eEducation

Mandated services to cover all students


The remote reopening of Everett’s Public Schools is to be known by the term eEducation – an umbrella term being used by school administrators to describe what has been commonly called “Distance” or “Remote” learning.

At least that is how it is described on the EPS School Department web site.

eEducation is the temporary replacement during this pandemic of remote learning for in class instruction.

It is a virtual and physical revolution in learning for the EPS.

According to School Superintendent Priya Tahiliani, EPS educators and staff will deliver a full education to students when the new year starts in just a few weeks.

“All of the district’s curriculum standards and objectives, as well as all state and federal guidelines, are fully accounted for during the eEducation method of delivery,” according to Tahiliani.

Although the plan is a work in progress, when it is finalized in all its parts, it will provide all mandated services for the city’s Chapter 70 financed programs, assuring every student that their educational needs are met.

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Schools to slash 350 employees

Huge budget shortfall to blame for layoffs


The School Department is announcing this week that it will be laying off 350 employees – or slightly more than 1/3 its workforce – due to uncertainties about funding for the upcoming year.

The layoffs will take place as of July 1.

If all the layoffs are made, the Everett Public Schools would save about $25 million while at the same time crippling public school education here.

This has happened in the past, almost from year-to-year, with the vast majority of those laid-off rehired by the time school starts in the fall.

This year is a new normal, a year shaped and formed by the serious negative economic effects of the Coronavirus.

The layoffs are almost entirely contingent upon the unknowns presently standing in the way of producing a coherent balanced budget for the upcoming year.

The greatest unknown is what exactly the state will be reimbursing the city.

More importantly, and a greater unknown, is what the federal government will be reimbursing the state for the aid it gives out.

In the present political climate, it is impossible to predict what President Trump will do to punish Governor Baker for being contemptuous of him and for leading the state after his own fashion instead of listening to the president.

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