Public Hearing on School Budget this Thursday

Posted on June 23, 2009

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It was still drizzling as I made my way to the Ford School for the Highlands Coalition meeting on Monday night. Unfortunately, I would be too late to hear the mayor talk about the impending closure of the Ford School Annex due to budget cuts. But he was there, I am told.  

Parents whose children go to the Ford and principal Claire Crane are doing everything they can to keep the Ford School Annex open. Ms. Crane says that 300 kids will be displaced to other middle schools from one of the best schools in Lynn if the annex closes. She also says that money to keep the school open is available in the form of stimulus funds. The school is applying for a “Race to the Top” Grant from the government, and Highlands Coalition members are busy calling school committee members to urge them to vote against the budget that, among other things, will close the annex. 

I wrote about the Ford School in an earlier post. It is a pioneer community school that hosts parents, residents of the neighborhood and community groups by remaining open after regular school hours to offer adult education and a meeting place. Last Wednesday, several hundred people attended an Essex County Community Organization forum at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church to advocate for community schools, after school programs and youth violence prevention programs that could be cut as a result of economic hard times.

The City Council has already approved the school budget, but there remains a public hearing at Lynn Vocational Technical Institute Annex, 90 Commercial Street, Lynn, on Thursday at 6:00 PM at which the school committee will have a final vote on the budget. Curiously at this moment, the city’s online schedule of public hearings has this one listed as TBA. At the Highlands Coalition meeting, however, I heard that the hearing will take place on Thursday.

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Posted in: Education