City Council Establishes Special Committee on Schools

When we first learned about the new committee, we were worried it would be comprised of only city councilors who might try to usurp control and authority from the School Committee. But we were pleased to see that the committee draws individuals from a variety of affected parties.

At Thursday’s City Council meeting, there was also discussion as to what the exact job of this new committee would be. The language that created the committee, was rather vague. It reads:

“To conduct a public review of the Westfield Public School system as it pertains to, but not limited to such areas as: Administration; Buildings; Transportation; Programs; Staffing; and Student Population Trends.”

Addressing the issue of the purpose of the committee, City Council President Brian Sullivan stated, “I think [the committee] is a starting point, I think it’s probably going to get tweaked as we go around.” According to Sullivan, the committee won’t have the power to set policy or make decisions.

There are other questions that have been left unanswered. We don’t know how the councilors and school committee members will be assigned to the committee. We also don’t know how the three parents will be chosen. If there are more than three interested parents, who will get to decide? We also don’t know when the committee will begin meeting or where. SWS will try to find the answers to these questions and others that arise. If you know, please contact us.

Overall, SWS is pleased with this development. We think any opportunity for uncovering facts and opening lines of communication is a good thing.