Manchester Superintendent of Schools Dr. Debra Livingston released a list of federal monies she says may be at risk if the city fails to adopt the allegedly voluntary Common Core Standards. She also provided Girard at Large with some documentation she says state officials claim are the basis for their determination that federal funds might be at risk. Among the funds listed are those available to help with homeless school children, preschoolers, vocational education, the school lunch program, special ed and Title One, which supports schools where a certain percentage of the families of the student body fall below the poverty line. D O E official Heather Gage provided Livingston with various federal and state legal citations requiring assessments be done on students, but nothing indicated the penalty for failing to adopt the state’s standards would be the loss of any federal or state funds. This has now become a critical question as Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas accused the department of playing semantics and changing positions, having told the city that no federal or state funds would be at risk if the city failed to adopt the standards. Since we have Gage on tape telling the Alton School Board that funds are not at risk and that it is not required that districts adopt the Smarter Balanced test chosen by the state, we still have a long way to go on these questions.
In an interview with Girard at Large yesterday, Livingston also admitted she proceeded with the implementation of the curriculum guides tabled by the School Board’s Curriculum and Instruction sub committee on August twenty seventh. She said during her presentation that night that she told the committee her plans were to institute the new guides at the beginning of the school year. When asked what authority she had to proceed in light of the committee’s action to table the use of the guides, she simply said she didn’t know. We’ll be sharing more details of our conversation with Dr. Livingston and the data she provided during this morning’s show.
Meanwhile, some Hooksett families had a change of heart about going to non Manchester schools. According to information Livingston provided yesterday, five students who originally planned to attend non-Manchester schools registered at Central, bringing the total of incoming freshmen from the town to forty four at the home of the Little Green. We did not get numbers for students attending West, but we’ll be sure to ask.
News from our own backyard continues after this.
Ward 7 Republican State Rep. Candidate Ross Terrio is crying foul over a negative mail piece sent on behalf of his Democratic opponent Mary Heath. Terrio accused Heath and the State Democratic Committee of taking the low road to win at all costs by wrongly accusing him of voting to cut off funding to the elderly and disabled when he actually voted for a bill that specifically restored those funds. He also said claims that he voted against education funding were false noting he voted for a constitutional amendment that would allow the state to target aid to needy districts like Manchester that would likely increase funding to the city. He said he told the state G O P not to do any negative mailers on his behalf at the beginning of the campaign and won’t respond in kind. Frankly, I think he ought to revisit that decision. Terrio lost his reelection bid in 2012 when the Democratic wave swept the state. The special election is this coming Tuesday, September 17th and is being held to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Patrick Garrity.
U S Senator Comprehensive Kelly Ayotte seems to have come to her senses on the use of military force in Syria. Maybe she’s just listening to her constituents. Either way, she announced yesterday that she will not vote to authorize the use of military force in the war torn country. In a written statement, Ayotte said, and I quote: In reflecting on the president’s speech last night and the many briefings I have received on Syria, despite my best attempts to discern it, I am left with the conclusion that the administration’s strategy on Syria is incoherent and inconsistent.” Now, if she’d only use that same analytical eye to reassess her position on so called comprehensive immigration reform bill, she’d be the perfect senator.
The Goffstown Planning Board will meet tonight to discuss the Planned Pinardhood community and rezoning plan. The meeting begins at 7 in Room 1 0 6 of the Town Hall. If the board, which is anticipating heavy public participation in this public hearing, kills the proposed rezoning plan, the town will have satisfied the federal grant requirements and the project is over.
Pembroke Academy is warning parents about the drug named Molly and asking them to discuss it with their children. While the school hasn’t had any issues with students using it, recent highly publicized teen deaths related to the drug’s use have them concerned. The high school with nearly nine hundred kids wants to prevent any tragedies. The drug is an allegedly more pure form of ecstasy kids believe have a harmless high, which I suppose is true, right up until the time they die.
That’s news from our own backyard, Girard at Large hour ___ is straight ahead!