Ogden issued the following statement:
“I came to Franklin in May 2006 to help move the public schools from good to great.
Instead, we are beginning another academic year moving in the opposite direction. We will start the 2008-09 school year with 180 more students than when I arrived and a budget that is several million dollars short of keeping pace with this growth. In the last two budget cycles, I have been forced to reduce school staff by more than 70 employees, the vast majority of them teachers, and to abandon plans to bring our schools to the next level academically. Our investment in the education of our students is now below average in every single category.
“This retreat has occurred despite the best efforts of the school community. The School Committee has an ambitious vision for the students of Franklin that deserves passionate and thoughtful support, but the Committee cannot sustain the academic performance that the community expects when it is not given the funding required to keep pace with basic educational needs. I have no desire to continue to dismantle our school system and, as such, I no longer feel I offer the right fit to lead the Franklin schools.”
School Committee Chairman Roy said:
“The Committee regrets the superintendent’s decision to leave his post after three years of a five-year contract. Our schools are at a crossroads and the challenges we face are serious, but the School Committee intends to do everything we can to prevent a slide toward mediocrity. With the support of our dedicated staff and our hardworking parents and students, our collective goal is to return Franklin schools to the path of greatness.
“School districts throughout the Commonwealth are struggling to recruit superintendents. We know it will be difficult to find a leader willing to come to a community that has begun to step back from supporting its educational mission. The School Committee will begin discussions regarding a successor as quickly as possible in the hopes of finding a highly qualified individual who can help us overcome the challenges ahead. ”