So, what are they hiding? That question is being asked by critics of the Manchester School District’s proposed academic standards as the Curriculum and Instruction Committee is set to meet tomorrow night at six o’clock somewhere at City Hall. Why the question about what they’re hiding, you ask? There is no agenda posted to the district’s Web site for public review. Normally, when meetings are posted, so too are their agendas. Not this time. Given that they’re meeting outside their normal monthly meeting time, which is usually during the last week of the month, the speculation is that the committee will move to adopt the Manchester Academic Standards as proposed after the two quote unquote “for show” public hearings at which no presentation regarding the standards was made, no questions from the public were answered and no speaker was allowed to exceed the three minute time limit imposed during committee and board meetings, but not expected during the public forum allegedly designed to solicit input on the standards.
The first meeting of the special negotiations committees appointed by the Manchester and Hooksett school boards has been announced as Hooksett School Board members John Lyscars and James Sullivan are openly asking Manchester to guarantee that any Hooksett student that starts in a Manchester high school will be allowed to graduate from that school should the two communities fail to secure a replacement for the legal settlement that now governs the tuition arrangements between the two communities.
While Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas has said he can’t conceive of a situation where the city would send kids packing at the end of the settlement, Lyscars and Sullivan say that’s not good enough and they’d like something in writing, with Lyscars noting that Pinkerton, Bow, Pembroke and Londonderry have made such guarantees and Sullivan expressing some frustration with the fact that Manchester has yet to do so, despite being asked.
Gatsas did suggest the issue might be properly addressed through each board’s negotiations committee. The first meeting between the committees is July thirtieth at the Cawley Middle School.
News from our own backyard continues after this.
The Committee on Lands and Buildings of the Manchester Board of Mayor and Aldermen will meet tomorrow night to consider action that would facilitate the relocation of U N H Manchester from its current location to the Pandora Building. A deal has been struck between university officials and Pandora’s owners, but because of the arrangements made with the city to occupy its current building behind Arms Park, the city must act to waive its right of first refusal to purchase the property. City elders appear predisposed to the deal which would fill one of the Millyard’s marquis buildings and potentially provide a use in the current building that would be less demanding on parking.
Also tomorrow night, the board’s Committee on Administration and Information Systems will take up the renewal of the city’s cable contract and begin a discussion regarding whether or not the city should allow and continue to license video poker machines in light of a recent major drug bust on the city’s West Side at a pizza shop surveillance officers said they never saw sell a pizza, but saw a lot of people playing video poker.
As part of his ongoing “Honoring Our Veterans” tour, former Bay State Senator and G O P candidate for U S Senate from N H, Scott Brown released a detailed white paper containing legislative initiatives to improve health care and employment opportunities for veterans. Chief among these initatives is a permanent reauthorization of the Hire A Hero Act that expired in 2 0 1 3. As a senator, Brown was an original co-sponsor of the Hire A Hero Law to provide tax credits to businesses that hire veterans. Brown’s plan outlines other measures to hold the V A accountable for mismanagement, provide more job opportunities, and streamline the process to file claims and schedule appointments. New Hampshire has the fifth-highest concentration per capita of veterans in the country, but it is the only state without a full-service V A hospital.
That’s news from our own backyard, Girard at Large hour ___ is on the way!