166 Edinboro St., Newton, MA
The school committee is charged with ensuring Newton complies with Mass General Laws and Department of Elementary and Secondary Education requirements. The charter has minimal influence on school governance and while the charter revision has updated some areas affecting schools, state law and requirements have superseded outdated charter language since ed reform in 1993.
Newton seeks quality work from skilled people who receive good wages. I value every employee and am committed to good faith bargaining with the unions that represent them. Newton schools have historically purchased services through the competitive bid process following city policy and state law. Both the city and our schools have privatized operations for many years. I support both collective bargaining and the competitive bidding process as each has its place in the operation of our schools.
Key components would include: 1) review of drop off pick up zones for safety; 2) new and renovated school designs separate private vehicle drop off from bus drop zones and pedestrian routes; 3) pricing of yellow bus for middle and high school to encourage its use; 4) family and student education and repeated messaging about the health and environmental benefits of walking, biking or taking the bus to school; 5) creating incentives for staff to bike, walk, carpool and use public transportation.
42 Fairfield Street, Newton, MA
I am undecided on the proposed charter revisions; however, I am leaning towards a no vote. The elected members who have worked on the charter for the last year and half on the changes have been honest and have acted in good faith, but the anticipated changes only represent a minor improvement. I believe much less opposition to the proposed changes would be in effect if they had put forth an 8-8 revised city council.
Outright privatization, no I do not. I do support opening up negotiations with the intention of finding the best deal for the taxpayers of the Garden City, as well as our students and parents.
A fundamental misconception about neighborhood schools, which would be highlighted in any transportation policy, is that they must be small. Neighborhood schools only must be accessible to students living nearby, a geographical factor, and have little to do with size. The School Committee needs to work with the city council to create and improve bike lanes, establish walk to school programs, and focus significantly more time, than is currently done, on future population growth in the city.