New Legal Opinion on Innovation School Proposals
The state Executive Office of Education has overturned a ruling on New Bedford's Innovation School proposals. In a letter submitted to the School Committee Monday, counsel James DiTullio categorized the Esperanza and Renaissance proposals as "new" schools. The ruling means teachers at the Gomes Elementary and Roosevelt Middle Schools wont have a chance to vote on the plans, and runs contrary to the state Teachers' Association legal opinion that the schools were "conversions" of current academic space. Mayor Jon Mitchell tells WBSM News, the ruling wont speed up the process, but does give the parties involved some direction on how to treat each plan.
Educators and parents critical of both proposals once again used the School Committee meeting's public comment time to voice their opposition. Roosevelt teacher Kate Lynch took issue with each plan's ignorance of her colleagues' concerns.
Teachers at those schools will still be represented through a negotiation process between their union and the Innovation School applicants for implementing the school plans. A School Committee vote on the proposals is expected in early spring.