Facing Up to Reality

May 17, 2012
By

It is difficult for the city government to come to the understanding that many new families are moving into Everett because of its proximity to Boston and the North Shore and because its public schools offer so much and are so accommodating.

This is a fact of reality.

So many new people are moving in that the school population is jumping higher by almost 500-600 new students in a year, every year.

This new reality forces the school department to create seats for every new addition to the public schools.

The Everett city government can’t tell the State Board of Education that it doesn’t want to spend more money for more students. It can’t say that to the Federal government either.

By law, every school-age child living in this city – and some not living in this city but who used to live here – has the right to a seat in a public school.

The problem arises when there aren’t enough seats in all the public schools to accommodate the crush of new students entering the system.

The city government’s response: let’s stop the school department from overspending its budget.

The reality: We better create seats or we are not in compliance and the school department and the city will be punitively punished by the state and federal government.

Now comes another city government idea.

Let’s not build anymore housing in Everett and that will solve the problem of the overpopulation in the public schools.

But how do you do that?

How do stop the free market place from operating in Everett?

If Everett bans development, the Everett city treasury is going to dry up.

The reality: people with children have a right to live in Everett. Development can’t be stopped reasonably to stop population growth in the public schools.

What to do?

The city needs to build another school right away. This is what must be done.

And let’s say a new school housing 600 children is built – what happens next year when another 600 need seats?

This is the dilemma Everett faces. It is a costly one and it is a problem filled with complexities.

The reality: Everett needs to confront its growing public school population with more than lip service.

The children all need seats. The law guarantees this.

Everett must follow the law.

There is no way of skirting around it.