Photo: Micheal Crowley, Belmont School Committee (one year) (photo credit: Belmont Media Center)
I’m running for School Committee because I believe that our kids deserve the best education that Belmont can provide. This is why I was involved in the Yes for Belmont campaign for the new 7-12 school, which will dramatically improve our school system.
We need strong oversight to make sure that this almost $300 million school is a success from the moment construction begins. It has to meet the needs of our kids and their kids, too. I want to make sure that we get our money’s worth from this project because so much depends on it.
Apart from the need for the new 7-12 school, we have an excellent school system and a supportive community. That’s a great place to be. But I also think there are plenty of other issues to stay focused on. Here are just a few:
- Class Sizes. Increasing enrollments have put pressure on class sizes for several years. Class sizes for many of our grades are well beyond what they should be. The new school is part of the solution because it helps solve our space needs. We also need to invest in additional teachers and staff if we’re going to continue making progress.
- School Fees. Like many area school districts, we’ve implemented fees for music programs, athletics, and transportation, and fees are here to stay. But I think it’s worth reviewing our fees and waiver criteria periodically to make sure that we’re not turning away any kids from activities because of affordability.
- After School Care. So many Belmont families depend on after school care. Availability of after-school care has improved during the last year, but the School Committee can be part of a town-wide conversation to make sure that we have enough—and that it’s affordable.
- Vocational Education. We still don’t have a long term plan for vocational education since Belmont voted to exit the Minuteman District in 2016. Fixing this isn’t something we can ignore.
These are some of the issues I’m thinking about. As someone who believes that all community voices deserve to be heard, I’m interested in the concerns of parents and other Belmont community members, too.
I’ve been a Town Meeting Member and a Member of the Warrant Committee since 2016. So, I’m familiar with many of the critical issues we face in our schools, including those involving budget and finance. I also have more than 20 years of budget and finance experience with the White House Office of Management and Budget. This kind of experience can be a real asset to the School Committee as it grapples with future funding issues.
I live in Belmont with my wife and 17-year old son. We really appreciate being a part of this community. As a potential School Committee Member, I’m committed to ensuring that our schools continue to meet the needs of our children.