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Tuesday, August 31, 2010


I am going to the public hearing tonight  on the budget. I hope others join me. It is at 7 pm at  the Breed Middle School. Come early, maybe the6y'll have concessions.

Sunday, August 29, 2010


To learn why we need community schools paste this link in your browser. We need action now, tomorrow only comes once.


New Money, Not Old Cartoons

All of this new money that is supposed to be coming to the Lynn Public School system screams of the need for some sort of a committee to oversee the allocation of these resources. Everyone should agree that we need to maximize this "surprise".

Otherwise this "unexpected treasure" may be wasted on administrative whims and questionable expenditures. I am not questioning the integrity of any of the educational leadership, I just want to be sure we get the most we can for the buck.

I don't want Dr. Latham to have to play the role of Mighty Mouse, "Here I am to Save the Day!".

Friday, August 27, 2010


My daughter went yesterday for orientation at Thurgood Marshall Middle School and found the library neglected even though there was a librarian. The problem is that not enough resources have been committed. Libraries should be sacred ground in any educational institution. Libraries are the foundation of not only education but more importantly learning!

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Today's news about the state's gift of a million dollar a year grant when combined with yesterday's announcement of the federal :Race To The Top" money seems like the answer to Lynn's educational woes. I hope so but I am not so confident. SHOW ME THE MONEY!

How many new teachers are we going to get? How many teachers are going to be recalled from being layed off? WHAT ABOUT THE LIBRARIANS? What new educational program is going to be established? Just what specifically are we getting for with this money? Sorry but the newspaper reports were were more like a series of press releases. Enough with the smoke and mirrors already!  I hope everyone please join me at the public hearing at Breed School on August 31 at 7 pm.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

On The Road Again!

Donna Coppola brought up an interesting if impractical question at last week's Finance Committee meeting. That was "Is there a procedure for us to reimburse parents so much a mile if they transport their own children?".

There were several snickers but actually a figure of $0.45 a mile was thought to be the going rate, Even if we could theoretically save some money, I don't think the amout of parental involvement could be reconciled with the actual commitment it would take. Not only that the traffic would be terrible.

One Man, One Vote

At first I thought my letter to my city councilman to ask for his support to restore Ford School as a polling place. I mistakenly thought it really didn't have anything to do with education.

As is often is the case, I was wrong. Back home in WV I learned about the importance of our collective social responsibility of being involved in our government on the simplest of levels by observing people cast their ballots every election. Every election took place at our schools.

There is no better place to learn what it means to be a citizen. So I am going to share my letter.

14 Rock Avenue Apt. #3

Lynn, MA 01902
August 23, 2010

Councilman Trahant

215 Verona Street,

Lynn MA 01904

Dear Councilman William R. Trahant, Jr.,

I am writing to you today to request that you bring before council the restoration of the Ford School as a polling place. I have been in touch with Secretary of State Galvin’s office in regards to the proper procedure to follow when making this request.

Being a disabled citizen, it is an undue burden for me to travel to my present polling place when Ford School would be readily accessible for not only me but many other citizens in this ward in similar circumstances.

I realize these are tough times for the city but I am not talking about an economic issue but one of civil rights. Voting occurred at the Ford School recently and was removed because of noncompliance to ADA regulations for accessibility, specifically a wheelchair ramp.

Work has been completed and that issue has long been resolved. I have been in touch with the Disability Law Center and I am exploring the possibility of imitating some sort of legal action to insure that mine and others constitutional rights are upheld.

Stanley H. Wotring, Jr

Separate But Equal

The line between church and state gets blurred when it comes to school transportation. Lynn Public Schools transports a number of private religions school kids to class. This has been an ecumenical burden to the school department because we transport Catholics and students to the North Shore Christian Academy

LSC member Donna Coppola asked school department attorney Mihos if the school department is mandated to provide transportation for these students. He promised to look into it. These are lean times but any savings by not providing transportation to these students would only be realized in the future.


Some good news for Lynn Schools came with the announcement of the president's "Race To The Top" grants. However closer examination raises more questions than answers.

Where is this money going to be spent? On the two failing schools or throughout the system, I wonder if this money was l ready budgeted with a hope and  prayer it would come through. I is hard to be sure of anything with the fog of numbers they throw at you,

If it is new money, then my understanding of the budgetary process would give Dr. Latham sole discretion about how it is spent. All the more reason to pack the public hearing for the budget on Aug. 31st on 7 pm at Breed School.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Can You See The EGG On My Face?

I fired my copy editor. How could he let me misspell Head of Transportation, Dave Hegan's name? Well he could do it because he is me and it wasn't even a typo. I just  screwed up. READ WHAT I MEAN, NOT WHAT I WRITE! Do I sound like a parent or what?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Are There New Auditions For "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas"?

LSC member Patricia Capano was scouring the transportation budget looking for ways to save money in the future. Her initial attention focused primarily on her perceive extravagances in the special education part of the costs. It was not just the substance but the tone of her rhetoric that I found insensitive and distasteful. That's just me and I don't proclaim to speak for anyone else.

She had the audacity to wonder if the teachers and special ed. administrators just toss out "free transportation" as an incentive to get parents to sign the IEP.  Did she forget who we are talking about? Clearly there are a few students who are unable to safely walk to school whether it be from physical or cognitive reasons. You would think that someone who has been an esteemed member of the LSC would be informed about the dangers involved with denying the most needy.

A phone call to Dave Egan over at transportation would have saved her this embarrassing public display. According to his testimony before the Finance Subcommittee, last year there were 2300 SPED students last year and only 754 of them get free transportation. I don't speak French but I would hardly call that carte blanche.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Modern Mercenaries Are Serving As Our Bus Drivers!

LSC member Vinnie Spirito asked a very good question of Dave Egan, head of the transportation department.  After it was brought up about the school system contracting out transportation to outside providers, Mr. Sprito wondered if it would be cheaper if Lynn provided its own buses,

Dave Egan assured him that it would not be cost prohibitive for us to provide our own buses. There is the maintenance costs, he payroll costs, etc. It seemed not remotely feasible.

Maybe all that is true, but I just wonder how many LSC members rent or own their own homes? These private companies are making a lot of money doing our work for us.

Do You Hear Me Now?

Excerpt from letter to Congressman John Tierney:

Congressman Tierney,

It was a pleasure for my children and me to meet you yesterday at he Neighbor To Neighbor Yard Sale in Lynn. It was very rewarding to them to be able to put a face on government.

Naturally I want you to continue to be a strong advocate for education. The area of Special Education is of a particularly personal interest to me. I am also interested in seeing all the librarians restored to the Lynn Public School System.
Any help you or your office could give on these matters will be appreciated.
Stanley H. Wotring, Jr.

Roll Call, Please!

With the school system in such financial peril,I wonder why then Mayor Kennedy couldn't find time to at least be present at the Finance Subcommittee meeting on August 19th? Education is vital to every citizen in the city. I am sure she must of had a good reason but the fact remains she wasn't there.

Along with the mayor LSC members Patricia Capano and Vinnie Spirito are not actually seated on the subcommittee but unlike the mayor they were there and contributed to the discussions. For better or worse, they were there. John Ford like the mayor must have had more pressing business. I mean really, who needs librarians anyway?

Not In My City!

In the city where anti-slavery leader Fredrick Douglass lived some of the most productive years of his life blows me away that such insensitivity for your fellow man and such blatant disregard for economic justice could exist in some of the leaders in our school system. I use the example of Mr. Douglass in various writings of mine but his prescience in the history of Lynn is such a powerful example of the fight against slavery whether it be from racial, physical, or in this case economic injustice.

I could not believe my ears listening to LSC member Patricia Capano blasting the economically less fortunate for burdening the Lynn School System. Expressing her frustration that 60 students a week are invading the Parent Information Center a week to sign up as new students for Lynn Public Schools.

First I have to question the validity of that number. I have no doubt there has been an uptake in new enrollment and maybe there was a week where here were 60 but to extrapolate that number over even the summer months would be around 220 new students starting in the fall. From the way she was ranting, I would assume that was apart from the normal exchange of kids entering kindergarten as seniors graduate.

These are undoubtedly tough economic times but to show such callous disregard for one's fellow human beings just sickens my soul. There was talk about the homeless and Ms. Capano claimed Lynn was being used as a "dumping ground" by agencies. he neglected to mention any specific agency, preferring to paint over all our problems with a broad brush.

Perhaps I need to brush up on my civics but I thought Ms. Capano was elected to service the educational needs of all the students of Lynn. In fact, I was witness to her stating that very fact at a debate at the Ford School just prior to her last election.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

He Said What?

I met today with State Senator McGee today at the Neighbor to Neighbor Yard Sale held at Maria Carrasco's (LSC member) house. We discussed his past support of education issue and his promise to do so in the future. I look forward making sure that people can read about whether or not he keeps his word,

Numbers Aren't The Only Things Getting Crunched!

Let me say this right up front, "Math is not my strong point". That is probably why I am not an accountant or an engineer. Still you don't have to be a graduate of remedial math class to recognize the inconsistencies in the transportation budget.

LSC member Donna Coppola said that she arrived at a figure pretty similar to city councilman Paul Crowley putting the cost of SPED transportation at a whopping $30K per student. Dave Egan, who is in charge of transportation for our school system, had a much lower figure of around $4000 per year.

Mr. Egan seemed pretty confident in his calculations and his self assurance allowed for the LSC members to breath a collective  sigh of relief. Whether his math was right or not, everybody wanted to believe it,

My uneasiness with the numbers might come from my own deep seated fears with math or from an admission to me from an earlier unrelated personal meeting with Dr. Latham, who is an accomplished and distinguished mathematician, where she admitted to me in the prescience of my wife, Dr. Warry, and Thomas Iaribino, that numbers can be shaped any way you want. Immediately after making that admission she assured me that her numbers were honest and legitimate.

Friday, August 20, 2010

All We Need Is A Magic School Bus!

Last night's LSC Finance Subcommittee meeting was pretty much exclusively about the transportation portion of the school budget and it is a significant part of the overall budget so it warranted special scrutiny. The chairman of the committee is Donna Coppola and the other members are are Maria Carrasco and Rick Starrbard.Dave Egan, head of the transportation department, came in to be grilled.

For the most part it was a polite exchange and most of the answers provided to questions only led to more questions. Rick Starrbard started off by asking the question "Why the $600,000 increase in the transportation budget?" but he was satisfied by the documents Mr. Egan had recently given all the LSC members. It provided a more detailed list of expenditures than had previously provided.

It seems like the transportation costs were just all covered in a lump sum so nobody could be really sure where the money was being spent. It was felt you had to know where the money was being spent in order to know where to cut going forward. Mr. Egan has a difficult job tying to navigate not only the sometime pothole riddled streets of Lynn, arrange for transportation for students placed outside of Lynn, but also deal with griping concerned parents like me.

Hopefully in the future, we will be able to reign in costs so that our money can be spent on education not transportation.

Let Us Pause For A Word From Our Sponser - Me

Remember the part where I said I was just a concerned parent? That justifies the shameless plug I am about to give. Yesterday the Zero Robotics program at Ford School was in a competition with about 20 other schools and other programs across the state and came in fifth at MIT with a live hookup with NASA in the International Space Station.

My son was furious they did not make the finals but I tried to console by pointing out that most of the other teams weer made up of older kids and reminding him just how few kids made it this far.  Something must be going right at Ford. We should find out what it is, bottle it, and sprinkle it around Lynn Public School system. 

Okay the proud parent moment has passed (both my kids were in the robotics program). It is time to get back to business. Look for some interesting tidbits to be discussed about last night's Finance Sub-committee meeting of the LSC.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I Have Sinned Against The Typing Gods!

I have been spanked and rightly so. Guilty as charged for being to lax with my typing. It has been all typos, not any other mistakes. That's my story and I am sticking to it. I promise to use spell check more often and I promise to be more thorough.

Tonight was a Finance sub-committee meeting so I got lots of new juice and I will be serving it up before the big public hearing on next year's budget. It will be a wild ride until then.

Do I Hear A Confession?

Kindle Wireless Reading Device, Free 3G + Wi-Fi, 6" Display, Graphite, 3G Works Globally - Latest GenerationTonight is a Finance sub-committee meeting. Maybe we will learn about the fiscal miracle that saved the librarians at the two failing schools. I am anxious to learn the reason that magic wasn't performed at the other schools.

The fact that they were restored at the failing schools is an admission of their importance. It is also aan admission of how little they think of other schools and their students.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

No Hemlock In Ford's Garden

There is a banner at Ford school, hanging on the fence along Hollingsworth Avenue proclaiming their pride in being a progressive agent for change in a less than affluent neighborhood. It reads " Title I School In Action".

That helps to explain the constant hubbub of activity occurring there. I said it helps explain, not fully explains. Sure being designated a Title I school does allow for more monies to be secured but like the song says, "Money Can't Buy You Love".

Don't underestimate the power of commitment, commitment to a cause. That cause is education of our youth.You know, Socrates was put to death for "corrupting the young". I am sure a lesser fate awaits guilty members of the LSC like "failing to win re-election".

Education Without Representation?

I just have a question. Lynn has a majority of minorities or at least close to it. I don't know the exact number but I am sure it. That being the case, my question is "How many minority teachers do we have in our school system?". It seems to me they would be better able to relate to the students.

The message we are sending to our students tells these students, at least subliminally, "Only blue eyed, fair skinned people are educated". I am sure there are some exceptions employed by the Lynn school system and maybe I am completely off base. I hope so but that is why I pose the question. It is an important question after all, teachers are the gatekeepers of our society.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Librarians To Lead The Turn Around At Our Failing Schools!

Rumor has it that funding has magically appeared to allow reinstatement of the librarians at our Level 4 schools. Evidently someone believes that they must be important to the educational progress of these under performing schools. I guess we have to wait until our other schools fail before we can have librarians in the other five libraries in the city schools. Where does our educational wisdom and leadership come from?

I would hazard a guess that the money came from a Turn Around grant similar to the one mentioned in the Boston Globe where 12 under performing schools shared 27 million dollars. I can not confirm my suspicions absolutely since Dr. Latham does not chat with me over coffee about the school system's fiscal dilemma and proposed solutions. Rest assured I will be at the upcoming meetings seeking answers.

There is a sub-committee meeting on Aug. 19th and a public hearing on the proposed budget for the 2010-2011 school year will be held at 7 pm at Breed Middle School on August 31st. I hope to see everyone there.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

I Can See The Future!

It just blows my mind how the LSC could even contemplate the possibility of passing a budget that does not include librarians. It might be different if we were blowing the doors off all our standardized tests but with such poor MCAS scores such a move is totally irresponsible. Anybody who thinks this is an acceptable solution to our budgetary crisis is dangerously myopic.

Without fully stalked and running libraries our LSC members will not be able to read the writing on the wall and it will read: "Lynn School System Taken By State Because Of Weak Education Standards And Low MCAS Scores".

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Maintenance Makeovers

The school department seems to have the same problem we all do: not enough money and too many places to spend it. It is all a matter of prioritizing. Dr. Latham voiced her support and satisfaction with the job Mike Donovan is doing with the overall maintenance of the school system.

The problems range from the extensive renovations being done at Classical due to the swampy foundation to air quality issues at Pickering. The various projects ongoing at Classical are slated to be completed by the start of school but the assurance of that was not all that confident due to the contractor's late start,

The air quality issues at Pickering are common  to all the schools built doing that era - poor ventilation causing a buildup of CO2 due to the air tightness of the construction. Making matters worse is the fact that the exhaust fans are often turned off by teachers or other personnel because they are too noisy. I guess that means some people are choosing listening over breathing.

Every school in the system has problems unique to it but all share in a fiscal impediment to any solutions. We have to find away to address these problems somehow because not only are they not going away by ignoring them, they are going to get worse.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Falcons' Flight To The Stars Delayed!

Sadly the astronauts in the International Space Station have pressing business so a NASA/MIT joint sponsored robotics competition that Ford has entered with nine other schools across the state will not be held this Thursday but has been tentatively set for August 16th providing no more problems with the ISS.

Last week Ford beat all the other schools in a preliminary trial. This made them the favorite to have their program ran in space. This could have meant the Ford school and its students could have reached inrtagalactic status.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Buses To Nowhere Or At Least Empty Libraries

These are tough times no doubt. The school committee had to make some hard choices  to trim the budget to avoid layoffs and thereby increase class size and that all too important teacher-student ratio. No one would be happy with any cuts. Everybody gave a little, just some more than others.

Transportation cost which does make up a significant portion of the budget seemed to be treated with kid gloves. Despite stories of tens of thousands of dollars spent to transport students to the KIPP charter school and the phenomenal increase in the cost for placements outside the Lynn school system.

Surrendering to the prospect of making any changes to this year's massive transportation budget due to time constraints, Donna Coppola put forth the motion or the wish that a careful analysis of the transportation budget be performed in order to avoid this same problem next year.
A noble gesture that fell on deaf ears. No one seemed interested in touching this sacred cow, now or in the future.

This kind of educational foresight and planning will guarantee that we will have the more priveledged students tranported to hollow halls. We would be better served to have our children walk to fully stalked libraries with librarians. Our students would be in better shape mentally and physically. Oh yeh, our MCAS scores would be higher.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Save Our Library's Devastation

An Open Letter To Dr. Latham:

This letter is meant to express my outrage and dismay that the librarians have been eliminated from this year’s school budget. With all of the trouble Lynn schools are having with the MCAS tests, how can you justify making school libraries such a low priority in the educational budget?

This area has served as the cradle of education with so many prestigious institutions of higher learning distinguishing the landscape. To make such a irresponsible budgetary move lessen our chances of qualifying for all the federal monies you are counting on to rescue our failing school system.

Two of the seven dedicated libraries are in the Level 4 schools so it boggles my mind how this move can be incorporated in their proposed turn around plans. This lack of forethought puts Lynn’s control of it’s own school system in jeopardy. The state and federal Departments of Education could see this move as a signal that they need to step in and assume management of the city’s educational system.

More than all of that, the kind of person one becomes is determined by what they read. If there is nothing to read in school what kind of person will he or she become? Given the state of Lynn’s test scores, we should be adding libraries not eliminating librarians.

Hopefully you will do everything in your power to reverse this atrocity and prevent the further devastation of our educational system. To insure this matter gets the serious attention it deserves, I am asking all concerned parents to join me at the public hearing on the budget for the 2010-2011 budget at Breed on August 30th at 7:00 pm. According to my understanding of the budgetary process, if the Lynn School Committee can free up money by making line item cuts, you would then have the discretion of restoring the position.

Given your long and distinguished career in education, I am sure you are in harmony with that goal. Otherwise a sour note will be struck for our future.

Stanley H. Wotring, Jr.


Thursday, August 5, 2010

Are We Going To Cross The Finish Line?

The good news is that Massachusetts is a finalist for President Obama's Race To The Top grant. The bad news is that we are 18 others and only 2 will be chosen. There are enough hoops to jump through that there are a lot of t's to cross and i's to dot.

Can We Have The Results, Please?

Tommorrow is a due day for MCAS results. They will be available for the superintendant and principals only. The rest of us wil have to wait a little longer.

It's A Nice Time For A Picnic

A Leadeship conference was held on July 27th at Endicott College. In attendance were Mayor Kennedy, Patti Capuano, and John Ford. Hopefully they learned how to solve some of the many educational problems we have. Well at least the campus is beautiful this time of year.

Make A New Plan

The Turn Around plan for the two Level 4 schools are due Aug. 14th. Hopefully there is something more substantial than the music chairs the principals played! If not the music may be the llast swan song for the Lynn School system.

An Open Letter To Dr. Latham:

Dear Dr. Latham,

After witnessing yours and the other members of the Lynn School Committee express their desire that proper protocol be followed before starting any school improvement project, I thought I would expree my ideas to you and the appropriate people first. In order to void beingwhat JSC member John Ford termed a “wildcat operation” I am putting forth the following proposal.

I was discussing with my wife, Doreen how the International Garden at Ford School looks more like a 4-H project rather than reflecting any multicultural authenticity. She suggested a marvelous and extremely low budget remedy. The idea was to have the students paint different countries just below the windows on that side of the building. This would build the student’s self-esteem and pride in perhaps their own authenticity while giving the building a more balance given the beautiful student painted mural on the other side of the building.

The students at Lynn Tech could help with any design issues allowing an opportunity for outside work that LSC member Rick Starrbard wants. I think this is a win-win proposal and look forward to your answer.


Stanley H. Wotring, Jr.

Young Bulldogs Barking!

The front yard of Lynn English High School is once again being used as a practice field for the East Lynn Pop Warner cheerleaders. It is a good thing that the school grounds can bee used for such a positive activity. Besides that, everyone gets to admire some great archetecture.

What/Who's In Your Wallet?

There are really only two types of education: public or private. I is all a matter of who is paying the bill, Most people go to public school where our government pays for the costs associated with education by using the revenue generated by our taxes. The goal is to insure that everybody has an opportunity for higher leaning.

At the other end of the educational spectrum are private schools. They claim to have a more serious attitude toward education as evidenced by their willingness to pay for it, In an effort to insure an elitism there are monies available on a need-based basis. It may not be easy but with enough hard work you can usually find a way to pay for it.

Now along comes charter schools to save all of the woes of public education but charter schools come to the education danceThere are really only two types of education: public or private. I is all a matter of who is paying the bill, Most people go to public school where our government pays for the costs associated with education by using the revenue generated by our taxes. The goal is to insure that everybody has an opportunity for higher leaning.

At the other end of the educational spectrum are private schools. They claim to have a more serious attitude toward education as evidenced by their willingness to pay for it, In an effort to insure an elitism there are monies available on a need-based basis. It may not be easy but with enough hard work you can usually find a way to pay for it.

Now along comes charter schools to save all of the woes of There are really only two types of education: public or private. I is all a matter of who is paying the bill, Most people go to public school where our government pays for the costs associated with education by using the revenue generated by our taxes. The goal is to insure that everybody has an opportunity for higher leaning. education but charter schools come to the education dance in costume. They are not who they appear. Their goals are more toward their own self interests instead of pursuing the advancement of their students. No Child Left Behind becomes Not My Child. That is the marketing plan that masks the school/company’s true objective, to make money for the corporation.

The government ends up funneling precious education dollars for questionable results. Good test results are easy to get if you are select enough with your students. The whoe thing reminds me of an old saying my father was fond of repeating, ”Figures lie and liars figure”.

I just want to ask, “Didn’t Ross Perot make a lot of his millions on government contracts?”.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Focus On Finance-LSC Finance sub-Committee on 7-29-10

This sub-committee is chaired by Donna Coppola and the other two members are Rick Starrbard and Maria Carrasco.

Dr. Latham warned the committee to expect costs to increase since sveral students will be coming out of the paraocial school system due to the poor economy.

Rick Starrbard expressed concern that public monies are being spent on transportation to KIPP,a charter school to the tune of 32,000. Donna Cappola echoed these sentiments and wants a detailed breakdown of ALL the transportation expenditures. A huge portion of the annual school budget is spent on transportation. Few of the other membeers of LSC shared her concern.

The entire budget was moved out of committee with a motion by Rick Starrbard and seconded by Maria Carrasco. Donna Cappola voted no,feeling that she just could not vote for a budget without librarians. She reminded everybody that this is the 21st century.

Robert L. Ford phone home!

Tommorrow students are scheduled to talk to the I.nternational Space Station. How cool, we never got to do stuff like this when I was in school.

Ford Falcons Soar To Victory

Ford School wins preliminary programming challenge at MIT beating other schools throughout the state in a robotics challenge in Cambridge today, August4th.

Ford School Gets New Desks, Sorta

At the LSC meeting 7/29 committee member Donna Cappola brought to the attention of the LSC that used furniture was being trashed and wondered if a better use ould be found than the dumpster.

Ford School is getting used desks from Harrington School that had been slated for the trash. These used desks will be an upgrade since some of the desks they are replacing are vintage 1930's era desks, complete with ink wellls.

Coat Of Many Colors

It only took 25 years but the kitchen at Ford School has just been repainted.Should we send out hanks to the Lynn School Dept.? If you did you would be showing gratitude to the wrong people. The people who deserve the real gratitude is PASSPORT, a volunteer church group out of the south.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Focus on the Building aand Grounds sub-Committee 07-29-10

John Ford chairs this sub-committee. David Gass testified before the committee, updateing them on the progress made in the International Garden at Robert L. Ford School. The garden was approved by the LSC.

David came before the committee seeking reimburssementfor expenditures totaling in the neighborhood of ten thousand dollars and approval for expansion of the garden including a greenhouse and coi pond. Rick Ford expressed concern about proper documentation and the lack of adherence to employment regulations. Also, he was concerned about donations not being filter through the LSC. There appeared to be no questions about honesty only concerns about accountability.

Schoo attorney Mihos questioned Mr. Gass about the hiring practices of Mr. Gass's group, "The Highlands Coalition". It seems that no thought was given to employment regulations. Mr. Gass apologized for his lack of organization and promised to do better in the future.

LSC member Viinnie Spirito questioned the educational value of the garden and Mr. Gass's and fellow workers competence to teach in ths MCAS driven world.

After Donna Cappola called attention to Mr. Gass's sincerety, a compromise was put forth and Mr. Gass through the Highlands Coalition was given $4000 and a hold was put on any further expansion of the garden