Showing posts with label Federal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Federal. Show all posts

Saturday, December 17, 2022

MassLive: "Federal judge rules in favor of Ludlow schools in lawsuit over treatment of transgender students"

“Since July 1, 2012, Massachusetts law has provided that ‘no person shall be excluded from or discriminated against . . . in obtaining the advantages, privileges and courses of study of [a] public school on account of . . . gender identity,’” his ruling quoted.

His order also noted that while parents have the option to send their children to public schools, they do not have constitutional rights to dictate how those schools educate children. An attorney for the school system, David S. Lawless, applauded the judge’s decision in an area of law that continues to be challenged across the country.

“Given the novelty in particular, he addressed both the legal issues in the complaint that was in front (of him) and that it’s an evolving area of the law,” Lawless said Thursday after the ruling came down. “School districts are put in a very difficult position; this is one more guidepost for them along the way.”
Continue reading the article online at MASSLive

U.S. District Court, Springfield, Mass
U.S. District Court, Springfield, Mass

Sunday, July 10, 2022

"Only about one-quarter of PPP funds supported jobs that otherwise would have disappeared"

"The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) directed hundreds of billions of dollars to small businesses and other organizations adversely affected by the COVID-19 crisis, providing resources to maintain payrolls, to hire back employees who may have been laid off and to cover important overhead.

But was this money well spent? A recent study offers evidence that the cost of each job saved was very high and that most of the program’s benefits flowed to small-business owners, their creditors and their suppliers rather than to workers. Other crisis programs, including unemployment insurance and economic impact payments, were targeted much more successfully to wage earners."


"Only about one-quarter of PPP funds supported jobs that otherwise would have disappeared"
"Only about one-quarter of PPP funds supported jobs that otherwise would have disappeared"

Friday, April 15, 2022

"some weeks of overpayments will be waived"

"THE STATE’S DEPARTMENT of Unemployment Assistance will be in touch with Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Unemployment Insurance claimants in the coming days to detail state and federal relief options that the Baker administration said Thursday would resolve about $1.6 billion or roughly 71 percent of overpayments.

There are about 353,000 outstanding cases of workers who received more money in joblessness aid than they should have between March 8, 2020 and Jan. 31, 2022, to the tune of a cumulative $2.225 billion, according to the Baker administration, which has been working for months to untangle the convoluted situation."

Continue reading the article online

And from the Boston Globe:
"The Baker administration on Thursday laid out its most comprehensive effort yet to provide full or partial financial relief to nearly 288,000 people who received jobless benefits during the pandemic but were later told they may have to pay back the money.

The state is aiming to end a financial nightmare for claimants facing $2.3 billion in repayment demands — money that many already spent on food, rent, and other basics. The plan will cover up to about 70 percent of those overpaid claims, or $1.6 billion. That’s because not everyone will qualify for a reprieve even as the state expands the eligibility criteria."
Continue reading the article (subscription may be required)

Gov Baker's press release ->

State to pick up part of the cost; feds provide additional help
State to pick up part of the cost; feds provide additional help

Thursday, April 7, 2022

“In the year 2022, this doesn’t just seem crazy. It is crazy."

"Here, at last, is the real reason your tax return is delayed: It’s not the pandemic. It’s that the IRS handles too much paper and has failed to adopt scanning technology that could have significantly reduced the current backlog of returns.

The way the agency processes paper is “archaic” and was a problem that was fixable long before the coronavirus shut things down, National Taxpayer Advocate Erin M. Collins wrote in her latest blog about the 2022 tax season.

Last year, the IRS received nearly 17 million paper 1040 forms, more than 4 million individual amended returns and millions of paper business returns, according to Collins.

I’m still trying to wrap my head around it: Employees transcribe all of those millions of paper tax returns manually."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required) 

Please consider filing your taxes online, it will help get them processed quicker than if you print the forms and mail them in.

Erin M. Collins, the national taxpayer advocate, in 2020. (Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)
Erin M. Collins, the national taxpayer advocate, in 2020. (Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)

Friday, March 25, 2022

"housing assistance programs have been gradually scaling down"

"AS A FEDERAL rental assistance program winds down, housing advocates are looking to the state to help fill the gap. But the state assistance programs are not as generous as the federal program was, leading to concerns that struggling tenants – particularly tenants of color – could increasingly face evictions. Housing assistance will be up for debate Thursday as the state Senate considers its version of a $1.6 billion supplemental budget bill.

On Tuesday, Homes for All Massachusetts and researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology released a report which found that evictions are disproportionately occurring in Black and Latino neighborhoods, neighborhoods with more single mother heads of households, areas with absentee and corporate landlords, and in central and southeast Massachusetts. Of all evictions filed between October 2020 and October 2021, 43 percent were in neighborhoods where a majority of residents are non-white, even though only 32 percent of rental housing is in these areas."

Continue reading the article online -> 

More info from the National Low Income Housing Coalition on MA housing

Monday, January 10, 2022

Franklin Housing Authority - Meeting - Agenda - Jan 10, 2022

Franklin Housing Authority - 1000 Central Park Terrace, Community Hall
Franklin, MA 02038

Regular Meeting of the Board of Commissioners
January 10, 2022 - 4:30 PM


Roll Call

Public Hearing to review the Franklin Housing Authority Annual Plan View at

Minutes of the Regular Meeting of December 6, 2021

Accounts Payable
Accounts Payable for December 2021
Capital One Charges for November 2021

Director Report 
Operating Statements – November 2021 
Community Preservation Committee (CPC) Update 


Old Business
Norfolk Management Update 
667-1 Building Fire Update 
Agreed Upon Procedures (AUP)-Review and accept

New Business
Annual Plan – Vote to approve 
FISH #101160 Change Order request (CO) - 
FISH #101144 Certificate of Final Completion (CFC) –


Shared from Town of Franklin page -> (Word doc)

Franklin Housing Authority - Meeting - Agenda - Jan 10, 2022
Franklin Housing Authority - Meeting - Agenda - Jan 10, 2022

Saturday, January 1, 2022

Boston Globe: "Massachusetts jobless fund is $115 million in the red"

"After months of delay, the Baker administration chose New Year’s Eve to deliver the news: The state fund that pays jobless benefits has a deficit of about $115 million.

Trying to bury bad news just before the weekend or a holiday is standard PR practice for companies and politicians alike. But you know what? Governor Charlie Baker’s team chose a sleepy Friday and last day of the year to release news that is . . . not too bad.

It’s no surprise the Massachusetts unemployment insurance trust fund is in the red after the state paid out a total of $22 billion in jobless benefits in 2020 and $11.8 billion in 2021. In 2019, payments ran about $1.6 billion."
Continue reading the article online (subscription maybe required)

The administration of Governor Charlie Baker hasn't provided a timetable or amount for a potential sale of bonds to help replenish the state's unemployment insurance trust fund.JONATHAN WIGGS/GLOBE STAFF
The administration of Governor Charlie Baker hasn't provided a timetable or amount for a potential sale of bonds to help replenish the state's unemployment insurance trust fund. JONATHAN WIGGS/GLOBE STAFF

Sunday, December 12, 2021

"The activity in the state’s unemployment insurance trust fund during COVID was historic"

"THE BAKER ADMINISTRATION on Friday gave lawmakers its most detailed accounting yet of the state’s unemployment insurance trust fund, and said it is preparing to issue bonds to put the fund on sound financial footing.

“We will have to bond. There is no doubt,” said Rosalin Acosta, the secretary of labor and workforce development, in a presentation to the Senate Post Audit and Oversight Committee.

Acosta didn’t provide a full accounting of the fund — she promised that by the end of the month — but she did provide more information than she has in months. The Baker administration stopped issuing a monthly report on the unemployment insurance trust fund’s financial status in June and pushed the Legislature to use $1 billion in federal American Rescue Plan Act funds to bolster the fund’s finances.

The Legislature in the spring also gave the governor the authority to issue up to $7 billion in bonds to deal with any shortfall in the fund. At the time, the expectation was that the fund was deep in the red and the assumption was that bond proceeds would make the fund whole while lessening the financial blow on businesses. Instead of having to pay off any fund deficit immediately, the bonds would allow businesses to pay the deficit off over the multi-decade life of the bonds."
Continue reading the article online

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Housing Authority Presentation doc - Nov 17, 2021

The Franklin Housing Authority presentation to the Town Council meeting on Wednesday, Nov 17, 2021 used this document and shared a copy of it during the meeting.

Download a copy of the doc here -> 

Housing Authority Presentation doc - Nov 17, 2021
Housing Authority Presentation doc - Nov 17, 2021

Thursday, November 4, 2021

Mass Senate Releases American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Spending Bill


Senate Ways and Means Releases American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Spending Bill

Bill's focus is on transformational investments in public health, housing,
mental and behavioral health, and the environment 

Today (11/03/2021), the Senate Committee on Ways and Means announced a $3.66 billion American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) spending bill to address COVID-19 recovery needs and build an equitable future for the Commonwealth. The Senate Ways and Means ARPA bill reflects the shared priorities of the Senate and recommends several thoughtfully targeted investments in health care, housing, environment, economic recovery and workforce development, while addressing economic and racial inequality and helping the communities disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"With careful planning, resourcefulness and compassion, the Massachusetts State Senate has played a central role in navigating our state through the darkest days of the COVID-19 pandemic," said Senate President Karen E. Spilka (D-Ashland). "At this critical juncture, we must not lose sight of the big picture. We need to address immediate and critical needs in  mental health care access, food security, the struggles of small businesses and access to housing. We must also continue to build up and support our public health system, including by investing in our local boards of health. The plan put forward by the Senate Committee on Ways and Means today will use funding from the American Rescue Plan to not only build resiliency in these crisis areas, but will also set our Commonwealth on the path towards an equitable recovery. I thank President Biden and the Massachusetts Congressional Delegation for their work to pass the American Rescue Plan Act at the federal level, and I thank Senator Rodrigues, my colleagues in the Senate, the members and staff of the Committee on Ways and Means, and the many members of the public who provided input to help us help the people of the Commonwealth get back to better." 

"As we strive to build a post-pandemic future for our Commonwealth, the Senate Committee on Ways and Means proposal to invest American Rescue Plan Act funds represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to fuel an equitable recovery and lift up communities most disproportionately impacted by the pandemic," said State Senator Michael J. Rodrigues (D-Westport), Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means. "Reflecting the shared priorities of the respective Senate membership, the Committee's bill released today makes clear that we heard the clarion call for smart, game-changing investments in mental health, public health, workforce development, affordable housing, and so much more, ensuring those hit the hardest by COVID-19—families, essential workers and small businesses—are being helped the most. I want to thank Senate President Spilka for her leadership and continued friendship, Vice-Chair Friedman, Assistant Vice-Chair Lewis and members of the Committee for their continued advocacy, and our partners in the House, especially Chair Michlewitz for his continued commitment to ensuring we chart a more equitable path forward, while also keeping an eye on the fiscal health of our state."  

"The lack of access to quality and timely behavioral health care has only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic," said Senator Cindy F. Friedman (D-Arlington), Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means. "This bill—with its historic-level of investment in our behavioral health system—takes real and immediate action to begin addressing the critical workforce issues facing the behavioral health and human services sector. The opportunity to add close to 2,000 workers to these sectors will have a profound impact for our residents and reaffirms the Senate's commitment to expanding access to much needed mental health services, especially in communities most impacted by the pandemic. I applaud Senate President Spilka and Chair Rodrigues for their leadership and using this unique opportunity to take meaningful action to address these persistent issues." 

"Thanks to President Biden and congressional Democrats who passed the American Rescue Plan Act earlier this year, Massachusetts is seizing a momentous opportunity to invest in a strong and equitable pandemic recovery" said Senator Jason Lewis (D-Winchester), Assistant Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means. "I'm very grateful for the extensive and constructive input from a wide variety of stakeholder groups and members of the public who helped the Senate craft legislation that clearly reflects the needs and priorities of communities across the Commonwealth, especially those hardest hit by the pandemic." 

"The Senate's ARPA spending plan presents many exciting, much-needed, and once-in-a-generation opportunities for the stabilization and growth of our Commonwealth," said Senator Patrick O'Connor (R-Weymouth), Ranking Minority Member of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means. "I am grateful to Chair Rodrigues and Senate President Spilka for proposing meaningful investments in the most high-needs areas, such as public health infrastructure, small business relief, and workforce development. After mindful planning and consideration, I believe we are fully prepared to release these federal dollars across Massachusetts in the most pragmatic and helpful way possible. I look forward to the upcoming deliberations with our Senate colleagues to fully realize the potential of this opportunity." 

The Senate ARPA spending bill recommends a total of $3.66 billion in spending, utilizing up to $2.5 billion in available American Rescue Plan Act funds and up to $1.45 billion in available Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 state surplus resources. Informed by the testimony heard extensively throughout the public hearing process, which included over 25 hours of public hearings and more than 450 letters of public testimony, the Committee's ARPA spending bill supports an equitable recovery for communities hardest hit by the pandemic, while maintaining the flexibility necessary to take advantage of future federal funding opportunities.  

The ARPA spending plan helps families, vulnerable populations, and communities historically underserved, investing more than $1 billion to support the state's health care system and confront the long-term impacts of COVID-19. Understanding the toll the COVID-19 pandemic has taken, the Committee's bill proposes to invest $400 million in mental and behavioral health supports, including over $122 million to address immediate workforce needs. Additionally, the Senate's plan revolutionizes the state's local and regional public health infrastructure and makes an historic investment of $250.9 million to ensure the Commonwealth can protect the public health of residents, workers, and businesses for years to come. 

Health care investments include: 

  • $400 million to support the behavioral health sector, including over $122 million to expand loan repayment programs for behavioral health professionals, including substance use disorder professionals, and meet the increasing need to retain and build our workforce. This investment is expected to help recruit and retain nearly 2,000 mental health professionals across the continuum of care. 
  • $300 million for the Home and Community-Based Services Federal Investment Fund to address workforce needs for those caring for some of our most vulnerable populations. 
  • $250.9 million to revolutionize local and regional public health and provide equitable access to high quality protections for all Massachusetts residents, including $118.4 million for public health infrastructure and data sharing upgrades, and $95 million for directs grants to local boards of health to maintain ready-level response to future public health threats. 
  • $200 million for acute hospitals impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • $55 million to support a robust and diverse human service workforce through recruitment, retention, and loan forgiveness programming. 
  • $60 million for food security infrastructure grants to continue combatting hunger, 
  • $50 million for nursing facilities, including $25 million for capital support, to increase the quality of patient care and $25 million for workforce initiatives. 
  • $25 million for a grant program for community violence prevention and re-entry organizations, focused on communities disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Charting a post-pandemic future, the Senate's ARPA spending plan invests $1.7 billion to fuel an equitable economic recovery for all by supporting workers, businesses and communities hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Committee's bill dedicates $500 million towards premium pay bonuses for essential workers, providing much needed relief to the workforce who served on the front lines during the pandemic.  

Economic recovery and workforce development investments include: 

  • $500 million for premium pay bonuses for essential frontline workers who worked during the height of the pandemic. 
  • $500 million for the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund, providing necessary relief to small business. 
  • $100 million for vocational school infrastructure and capacity building needs. 
  • $75 million for the Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund to support organizations working with people displaced from jobs during the pandemic, historically underserved populations, and individuals reentering their communities from the corrections system. 
  • $75 million for equitable and affordable broadband access and infrastructure improvements to close the digital divide. 
  • $75 million for Mass Cultural Council grants to support our cultural sector. 
  • $50 million for direct grants to minority-owned small businesses. 
  • $30 million for regional high-demand workforce training at community colleges. 
  • $25 million for the expansion of Career Technical Institutes. 
  • $20 for workforce development and capital assistance grants to the Massachusetts Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs and the Alliance of Massachusetts YMCAs. 
  • $15 million to enhance and diversify our cybersecurity sector with partnerships between public higher education institutions and private businesses. 
  • $12 million for the resettlement of Afghani evacuees. 
  • $8 million for agricultural economy supports.  

The bill also provides close to $200 million tax relief for small-business owners who would have otherwise been required to pay personal income taxes on state or federal relief money. 

The spending plan acknowledges the critical role that housing plays in economic recovery. Over a year and a half into the pandemic, access to stable and affordable housing remains at the forefront of  the state's strategy to ensure economic security for those who call the Commonwealth home. Reflecting the Senate's long-standing commitment, the Committee's ARPA spending bill allocates $600 million for investments in affordable, accessible housing, as well as supportive housing. 

Housing investments include: 

  • $150 million for supportive housing, including $75 million for the chronically homeless population. 
  • $150 million for public housing authorities to maintain and upgrade existing infrastructure. 
  • $125 million for the Commonwealth Builders Program to support housing production and promote homeownership among residents of disproportionately impacted communities. 
  • $125 million for affordable rental housing production for the workforce.  
  • $50 million for homeownership assistance tools, including down payment assistance and mortgage interest subsidy supports.  

In addition to making investments to support an equitable recovery that lifts hardest hit communities, the Senate bill prioritizes building a more resilient Commonwealth and ensuring a healthier environment for all. To that end, the Committee's bill invests $450 million to combat climate change through mitigation initiatives, strengthen environmental infrastructure, fix aging water infrastructure, and modernize marine port infrastructure to support the state's emerging offshore wind industry. 


Environment and climate investments include: 

  • $175 million for water and sewer infrastructure investments through the Clean Water Trust.  
  • $125 million for environmental infrastructure grants, including the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) program. 
  • $100 million for marine port infrastructure investments focused on the promotion of offshore wind development. 
  • $20 million for Greening the Gateway Cities program to support tree planting. 
  • $15 million for parks and recreational assets. 
  • $10 million for clean energy retrofitting in affordable housing units. 
  • $5 million for the advancement of geothermal technologies. 

Finally, to support communities disproportionately impacted by the pandemic and prioritize historically underserved or marginalized populations, the Committee's bill establishes a federal funds equity and accountability review panel to track in near real-time the amount and percentage of ARPA funds spent in these communities and awarded to minority and women business enterprises. Additionally, the bill also requires state agencies and authorities to promulgate rules or regulations to ensure the fair participation of minority and women-owned business enterprises.  


Senators can file amendments to the Senate Ways and Means recommendations until Friday, November 5. The full Senate will then debate the ARPA spending bill in formal session beginning Wednesday, November 10.   

Video link: Massachusetts State Senate Releases ARPA Investment Proposal - YouTube

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Finance Committee hears update from Human Resources, and ARPA funds

Quick Recap:
  • Senior tax abatement (work off) program update coming to Town Council session (Oct 20, 2021). Veterans update also scheduled for an increase.
  • Human Resources Director Karen Bratt provided an update on the hiring, background checks, negotiations, etc. that her office participates in. Approx. one third of Town employees have been replaced since 2018 as the generational turnover take place. 
  • The audio of this segment of the meeting will become a "must" listen as there are so many details on the cost drivers for the Town and School budgets. There is a separate School HR function but there is coordination between the two on health plans and negotiations.
  • Town Administrator Jamie Hellen provided and update on the current ARPA or COVID related Federal funding to date with an outlook on what is expected. These funds are limited in use and are spread over several years. Some of the reimbursements from FEMA (in particular) can really take time to be received.


As with most meetings in this pandemic period, I took my notes via Twitter during the meeting reporting in real-time via the virtual session
The Twitter hashtag can be found online  #fincom1013 
Agenda document -


  • Getting ready to live tweet the Finance Committee meeting beginning at 6:30 PM today. Agenda and remote connection info here  #fincom1013
  • Meeting host will let you in soon. #fincom1013
  • It is nice to be in the room where a meeting happens, it is very convenient to be in the Zoom where it happens #fincom1013
  • 6 yes, no notices, on motion to approve Dowd as chair, Conley as Vice chair, and Nicole as clerk via roll call some absent #fincom1013 Abatement programs to be expanded for Town Council, wage to minimum, and total increase of amount veterans/disabled amounts ...
  • Details on the program expansions contained on the agenda doc shared earlier and again here #fincom1013
  • Jamie explains the details behind the proposal, limited by statue at minimum wage and $1500/year, hence amount is within the statue. #fincom1013 limit on number of people to participate in work off (100), veteran status is required.
  • Motion to recommend motions first on senior citizen piece then on veterans piece, both pass via 6-0 via roll call votes #fincom1013
  • Presentation by Karen Bratt on Human Resources for Town, screen grabs shared here (didn't find doc) #fincom1013
  • So many photos/pages will create album to share. Presentation done, now in the Q&A segment, good background info on GIC plan option for town but not used #fincom1013 some collaborative strategies are more work than worth it long term.
  • Interesting discussion on turnover and reasons for, some due to demographics (aging work population) #fincom1013 not many if any leaving for another town, one that did had recently come back. Less interest in filling OT hours and shifts than prior, work life balance
  • "can't believe you are still using paper employee files" we will see it later, working to get a grant to help fund it. #fincom1013 Harvard Pilgrim did a 'rebate' but it wasn't much and took time to process. Talk of issues hiring, in some spots like those with CDL license
  • Did get confirmation that the pres doc will be posted to the HR page #fincom1013 policy procedures manual online as well as collective bargaining agreements
  • Next up an update from Jamie on ARPA funds overview (preview of what Town Council will see next week) Alicia has been the master tracking these details, coordination of reporting, etc. Kudos to her for this work! #fincom1013
  • Pres doc will be posted to this page #fincom1013
  • School funds separate from Town funds #fincom1013 multiple pages in this update also, also to be posted to budget page. These funds are separate from town ops and capital budgeting. They can help fulfill requirements that would be funded by ops or capital funds
  • Next up - future topics; contracts and grants can we get a view of these; MassWorks grant of $2.2m can distort analysis. What are you getting at? Maybe better to go at this by Dept. rather than overall. #fincom1013
  • Budget overview and CPC update schedule for the meeting 11/10 #fincom1013 meeting adjourns

Audio recording of meeting to be available in couple of days

Finance Committee hears update from Human Resources, and ARPA funds
Finance Committee hears update from Human Resources, and ARPA funds

Friday, October 1, 2021

Recap: School Committee meeting hears of graffiti incident, DLI updates, ESSER III grant draft plans, and approves facial covering policy

Quick recap:
  • Graffiti incident at FHS discussed, Superintendent Ahern updated on Principal Hanna's response and work still underway
  • School topics (Davis Thayer, budget, etc.) scheduled for Town Council meeting Oct 6
  • New communications person, Lily Rivera introduced
  • Digital Learning Integrationists (DLI) provided updates on their work supporting teachers and learning technology
  • The draft plan was previewed for use of the ESSER III (Federal funding) to be made available
  • MASC delegate approved, review of MASC resolutions conducted, vote on them scheduled for next meeting. Odd situation may occur, if Denise Spencer doesn't get re-elected Nov 2, with the MASC conference scheduled for Nov 3, the conference would not have a Franklin representative
  • Facial covering policy approved, this wont be the last update, more are likely as the pandemic continues
  • Minutes from Sep 14 split from Consent agenda and approved; the remaining items of the Consent agenda also approved; both votes via roll call


As with most meetings in this pandemic period, I took my notes via Twitter during the meeting reporting live in the Council Chambers.


The Twitter hashtag can be found online  #schcom0928

School Committee agenda: 

School Committee packet folder (all the doc for the meeting) 


Photos captured during the meeting and shared via Twitter can be found in one album


Citizens Comments
  • I stepped up to share about the Franklin Area Nonprofit Network (FANN) in an effort to reach out to the PCC organizations. The FANN vision "Franklin will be a community where nonprofit organizations work together for the greater good of its residents. " #schcom0928
  • Citizen comment on disappointing curriculum night experience was paperwork instead of info sharing and teacher info sharing #schcom0928
  • Citizen comment on when will get out of this? #schcom0928
FHS Student updates
  • Superintendent introduces the new FHS representatives. MacKenzie Atwood a senior (returning this year) production of Mama Mia Nov 12-13; speaks to the recent act of hateful graffiti found on a back door of the school #schcom0928 she can't feel safe in the halls.
  • "While we have made progress ... but more needs to be done, it has been met with more hatred" #schcom0928
  • Shaw Downing with an update on PSAT's, needing proctors to conduct the testing. Back to school night Thursday, Home coming Oct 7, register before req'd #schcom0928
Superintendent's report
  • Superintendent's report - key follow up to Kenzie's info; Principal Hanna sent note to FHS community today (copy to share later) #schcom0928, it was not a FPS student but they were found. "It puts a voice to the hurt" thank you for sharing and having the courage to do so
  • Principal Hanna reaching to the appropriate clubs to respond to the FHS community. Half day on Friday, PDD for staff. #schcom0928 Supt report link to be posted Weds (while be shared after it is available)
  • Supt Ahern and Business Admin Goodman to participate in the Town Council meeting next week to talk school topics among budget. School transport and buses an issue, late buses not available now. hence club and activities potentially hindered. #schcom0928
  • curriculum night was a question to be in person or remote, hoped in person would be better; COVID protocols needed to be followed, to address # of folks in a room, shorter duration and smaller groups #schcom0928 middle/FHS coming later
  • materials prepared for consistency in delivery, further opportunities? yes, all year long - teachers are responsive to requests; conferences coming in Nov #schcom0928
  • "this highlights how important our diversity, equity and inclusion work is" different experience for a SchCom member at the curriculum night, it was informally organized and allowed for moving around. #schcom0928
Discussion/Action Items
  • Franklin TV Board Appointment - I recommend the appointment of Rose Turco to the Franklin TV Board of Directors. - motion seconded, passes via roll call 7-0 #schcom0928
  • MASC Delegate - I recommend the Committee appoint Denise Spencer to serve as the Committee's delegate to the annual MASC Annual Meeting of Delegates as discussed.  motion seconded, passes 7-0 via roll call #schcom0928 (risk of delegate due to conf and election timing)
  • ** Policy - Waiving 1st reading - I recommend waiving the First Reading of Policy EBCFA Face Coverings as discussed. motion, seconded, passes 7-0 via roll call #schcom0928
  • ** D. Policy Adoption - I recommend adopting policy EBCFA - Face Coverings as discussed  #schcom0928 - minor changes, and inclusion of non-compliance section - motion, seconded, passes 7-0 via roll call - (community) input included in the policy;
  • policy discussion on masks not over yet, DESE guidance still incomplete and lacking; we can be stronger than DESE but not more lenient, hard to plan for policy changes in these circumstances #schcom0928
  • MASC resolution discussion tonight, vote comes later: doc with resolution can be found ->  #schcom0928
Discussion Only Items
  • next up - ESSER III funding plan ->  #schcom0928
  • beginning slide 4, an accounting of the COVID funding received thus far #schcom0928 page 7 gets into the ESSER III funding to be spread over next couple of years; putting plan together in consideration of other funding sources
  • page 10 highlighted items are an area of funding possible via ESSER funds; some although ranked high don't really qualify for this funding; #schcom0928 Air conditioning is a project beyond the scope of this funding
  • page 11 also has two highlights for areas of possible funding #schcom0928 page 15 has the five priority areas broken out by the stakeholder groups - Page 17 has the start of the proposed ESSER funding requests
  • page 18 closes out the proposal with two more line items - "Our Challenge - Develop a plan between FY 22 and FY 24 to sustain investments that are needed in the long-term"  #schcom0928
  • The survey can also be used as input for other needs discussions. #schcom0928 a job description would come to committee for review before posting once needed
  • next up - back to school status update -> doc located here #schcom0928 gradually approx. 80% across Franklin, how to determine which of these are FPS vs. elsewhere
  • data collection currently focused on FHS, currently 75% with more clarification on the numbers being worked. Middle school problematic as not all of them are currently eligible; close contacts will get complicated as this goes forward without masks (i.e 3' to 6') #schcom0928
  • test and stay up and running - no testing without consent, forms on website, top of page easy to find #schcom0928 MCAS scores coming out this week, more full evaluation forthcoming once received and understood. Math a standout area of concern
  • what happens if we don't get to 80%, then the whole school stays masked until such time. #schcom0928 to check on testing form if submitted, contact the school nurse; out of school exposure does not qualify for test/stay
Information matters
  • Info matters - budget handout prepared by budget subcommittee; booth at Harvest Festival (Zone 5 - Rockland Trust parking lot, near Emmons St) #schcom0928
  • Policy next meeting, Oct 6; 6 to 7:30 PM likely in training room; next meeting Oct 21 
  • Joint PCC did meet yesterday; no field trips for fall, maybe for spring; equitable funding and resources desired. Substance taskforce, looking for SAFE hosting #schcom0928
  • SWAC first meeting next week; ad-hoc committee to schedule meeting; Hock Y still serving free food, daycare available; other support groups for specific illnesses; #schco0928
  • moving to consent agenda - separate the minutes for Sep 14, motion to approve, second, passes via roll call 6-0-1 (1 abstain -Judy)
  • motion to accept consent agenda, second, passes 7-0 via roll call #schcom0928
  • motion to adjourn, seconded, passes 7-0 via roll call, that's all for tonight  #schcom0928

Audio recording of meeting to be available in couple of days


Digital Learning Integrationists (DLI) team
Digital Learning Integrationists (DLI) team