New Bedford’s John Oliveira Teases Run for Massachusetts Legislature
This morning, New Bedford School Committee member John Oliveira joined Brian Thomas on WBSM’s Chris McCarthy Show to discuss Monday night’s upcoming meeting. The conversation focused mostly on school choice, and what it means if the committee approves the program for another year in New Bedford schools.
At the start of the discussion, Thomas casually asked Oliveira, who is in year three of his four-year term, if he planned to run again for school committee.
“I’m not sure if I’m going to be able to complete another term,” Oliveira responded, before dropping some news as to what his next political move may be. “There’s a couple of legislators that have bullseyes on their backs, Representative (Antonio) Cabral and Senator (Mark) Montigny, that need to be taken down.”
Oliveira said he may not run for a second term on the school committee because “there’s a possibility” he would run for the state legislature against either Cabral or Montigny, both New Bedford residents, and would be unable to complete a second term on the school committee if he did run for either of those seats.
He said he felt he could make more of a difference for the schoolchildren of New Bedford on Beacon Hill.
“That’s where the root of the problem is,” he said. “The problem is not in the schools, the problem is in the legislature, that’s the problem with the schools.”
Oliveira said he will not make tonight’s meeting; he was calling into the show from his room at the V.A. hospital in West Roxbury, he said, and would be discharged at the same time the meeting was starting and wouldn’t make it home in time to participate. But he did say he was in favor of school choice.
“I’m for it, because it does give parents a choice,” he said. “As far as I’m concerned, somebody just needs to take a bomb and blow the whole thing up because the education system in this state is screwed. It doesn’t listen to parents. It’s not about education, it’s about the business of education.”
Oliveira said the public school system “really needs to be rebuilt from the ground up.” He vowed that if he does get elected to the legislature, “we can go up to the state house and rewrite that terrible law that Mr. Montigny and Mr. Cabral were involved in in 1993 called the Education Reform Act, which I like to call the ‘Education Puts Money in the Politicians’ Pockets Act.’”
Oliveira has been a controversial figure in his three years on the school committee, starting with him being banned from school department grounds before even being sworn in, a history of outbursts and clashes with other committee members, and then being effectively censured by Mayor Jon Mitchell last year.