The Manchester Board of School Committee had quite a session last night. The board revisited its decision to have school principals forward student schedules by the first of July. Assistant Principal Peter Perich of Memorial, Central Principal Ron Mailhot, and McLaughlin Principal Bill Krantz testified as to the difficulties the schools have with scheduling. Turns out a big monkey wrench in the schedule has to do with students who fail individual classes that must be retaken. That’s something they don’t know until the end of the school year. Having to manually input incoming students from Hooksett and Candia is also a challenge. In a perfect world said Mailhot, it takes eight to ten weeks to get student schedules finalized. The outcome was that the date by which students have to have their schedules has been moved to mid August.for this year. Motions to move the date up to the end of school for next year failed. As best we could, their concerns are documented at in the live blog section of Oh My BLOG! at Girard at Large dot com.
The board also ratified new contracts with the Association of Manchester Principals and its Directors and Coordinators unions. Girard at Large has learned that the union representing the school support staff failed to ratify the terms reached with the board’s Negotiations Committee. Ward 9’s Arthur. Beaudry said the deal didn’t go far enough with the principals, that the committee should have addressed the practice of giving a new principal the salary of the outgoing principal and that there should be pay parity between principals at all levels. Mayor Ted Gatsas opposed the deals because they didn’t save money. The principals’ contract will cost the district fifty eight thousand dollars in the first two years. In an interview with Girard at Large after the meeting, Gatsas, in reference to the paraprofessional contract, said that the people who made the least were giving up the most and that was wrong. Negotiations Committee Chairman John Avard said the contract enacted the desired changes in health benefits immediately.
Finally, the board adopted a budget that basically allocated the additional million dollars given by the aldermen during the budget process. There will be an additional ten teachers in classrooms this year. The one new position not going to the elementary schools will be going to the Manchester School of Technology. Outgoing Superintendent Dr. Tom Brennan said that incoming Superintendent Dr. Debra Livingston agreed with his recommendations. Believe it or not, we’ll have more on last night’s meeting during the show.
The news continues after this.
More twists and turns and setting the record straight in the Manchester ambulance contract controversy. This thing has overtaken my life and I want it to go away already. Anyway, Fire Chief James Burkush says he did not meet with AMR ambulance officials prior to recommending they be awarded the new ambulance contract as we reported yesterday. However, he said he did call AMR’s regional director to discuss their bid to see if they would match the patient pricing given by American Ambulance, which they agreed to do. As we reported yesterday, that is perfectly allowed in the bid process. Burkush remains steadfast in his choice of AMR. Girard at Large has also reviewed documents relative to the Corporate Integrity Agreement AMR entered into and can confirm that it pertained only to the company’s holdings in New York State. As stated by AMR Regional Manager Christopher Stawasz, AMR of Massachusetts, which is the independent corporate entity bidding for Manchester’s contract, was uninvolved in the shenanigans leading to the regulatory sanctions in New York State. We’ll have more on this during the show.
Senator Lou D’Allesandro’s having a birthday and he wants you to come. So, if you have a spare thousand bucks and want to be a General Manager…oh, you only have five hundred bucks? Well, then you can be a Coach in his…wait, you mean you’ve only got two hundred fifty bucks? Okay, you can be a captain on his…huh? Well, for just a hundred you can be a player on his…Oh, well anything less you’re off the team, but you can be a booster. We’ve got the invite posted with this newscast. It’s Tuesday July 30th at the Athens in downtown Manchester if you want to go, wallet and all.
That’s news from our own backyard, Girard at Large hour ___ is straight ahead!