The warrant features an article creating a special school stabilization fund to help students affected by the pandemic
An article that would create a “Supplemental Student Support Reserve Fund” highlights the warrant being prepared for a Special Town Meeting set for next month.
“I think this is a huge opportunity to be able to take advantage of money that is probably not going to be available in future years.” Town Manager Scott C. Crabtree told selectmen at Tuesday night’s (Sept. 20) meeting. “Money that the governor put into the budget that was passed by the House and Senate. And we’re really excited about being able to have that put to use through our School Department and really help kids that need this, for all the things we’ve gone through, through the pandemic…remote learning and whatnot.”
The proposed article is one of several measures that will be considered when the 50-member Town Meeting convenes at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 24 in the second-floor auditorium at Saugus Town Hall. Petitions signed by 213 residents supporting a resolution to oppose expansion of the ash landfill at the WIN Waste Innovations trash-to-energy plant on Route 107 prompted the calling for a Special Town Meeting. Crabtree and other town officials decided to add other articles to the warrant.
Crabtree said that Gov. Charlie Baker provided additional monies in Chapter 70 funds for public school, amounting to about $3 million for Saugus Public Schools. This money would allow for a variety of educational programs in the school district which are not currently covered by the School Department’s operating budget. “The idea is to look at student opportunities through the pandemic,” Crabtree said.
“Our students in the state fell behind. This money is looked at to try to support those endeavors,” he said. “I surveyed and spoken to town meeting members.”
The article initiated by the town manager reads as follows:
“To see if the Saugus Town Meeting will vote under the authority provided by Massachusetts General Law Chapter 40 Section 5B, to create a targeted stabilization fund known as the Supplemental Student Support Reserve Fund and to raise and appropriate a sum of money for deposit into such fund for the following purpose(s):
- To develop and provide enrichment programs outside of the school day, including summer school, evening school, and before and after school programs not currently existing in the school budget.
- To deliver at home tutoring for students who have been identified as needing one on one support from a qualified educator.
- To procure and administer norm referenced student assessments to identify individual student deficiencies in mathematics and reading.
- To develop and implement parent/guardian communication and training programs that will help facilitate student learning and success.
- To supplement existing ESL / ELL learners including, but not limited to, materials and properly credentialed staff to support these learners.
- To ensure access to technology for students who have been identified as not having such at home.
- To develop and implement extended day programs for students as needed.
- To develop any program deemed appropriate and proven effective with the goal of bringing about student academic and social recovery from two years of remote learning.
“In order for the Saugus Public Schools to access these funds the Superintendent and School Committee must submit a detailed plan to the Saugus Finance Committee who will determine that such plans are supplementing current educational programming and not supplanting it.”
A resolution initiated by four of the five Precinct 10 Town Meeting members would be the latest in a series of various votes by Town Meeting and previous Boards of Selectmen opposing expansion of the ash landfill. “It is Therefore Resolved that the Representatives in Town Meeting, here assembled, convey our opposition to any further extension of the WIN ash landfill located on Route 107 and urge our state delegation to oppose any effort to modify the law or regulations relative to the Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC),” states the resolution.
“This resolution will be sent to the entire delegation for Saugus as well as the DEP Commissioner.”
The Saugus Retirement Board submitted these three articles for the Special Town Meeting:
- Acceptance of Legislation/Increase of Survivor Benefits – To see if the Town of Saugus will vote to accept the provisions of Section 29 and 30 of Chapter 176 of the Acts of 2011 to accept an increase to the minimum monthly allowance for a member survivor allowance from $250 to $500.
- Acceptance of Legislation/Increase of Survivors Benefits – To see if the Town of Saugus will vote to accept the provisions of Section 28 of Chapter 131 of the Acts of 2010 to increase the benefit paid to survivors from $6,000 to $12,000 annually.
- Acceptance of Legislation/Increase of COLA Base –To see if the Town will vote to accept the provisions of Section 19 of Chapter 188 of the Acts of 2010 to increase the maximum base on which the cost-of-living is calculated for retirees of the Saugus Retirement System from $14,000 to $18,000.
At Tuesday’s meeting, Board of Selectmen Chair Anthony Cogliano submitted an article on behalf of Sal Palumbo of 3 Pirates Glen Rd. to rezone property at 34 Rear Forest St. from residential to the Business Highway Sustainable Development District.