Edward Medros will be there. Herbie
Kupersmith will be there. And so will the other pillars of the Jewish community
in Chelsea who have worked hard to keep the historic Walnut Street Synagogue in
This Sunday, Medros, the current president of the shul, and Kupersmith, whose fundraising efforts have been essential through the years, will be joined by more than 200 people at the Walnut Street Synagogue’s Founders’ Day Celebration.
Edward Medros, president of the Walnut Street Synagogue, will welcome more than 200 people to the shul Sunday for a Founders’ Day Celebration.
“We’ve been planning this event since July,
2018,” said Medros in an interview before he was honored by the Chelsea City
Council Monday night. “We’re honoring the founders of the synagogue. The theme
is ‘honoring the past, building for the future.”
Medros said the planning committee’s goal
with the event has been to identify and celebrate the immigrants who started
the synagogue and identify any of the descendants of the founders.
“We also want to showcase the strength of
the synagogue after 132 years,” Medros related. “We want to thank those people
who fled Eastern Europe and the persecution there and came here to start a
better life and make a better life for their children.”
He noted that Chelsea was once home to more
than 20,000 Jews.
“Chelsea once had 25 synagogues,” he said.
“Today there is one orthodox [Walnut Street] and one conservative [Temple
Emmanuel] synagogue left in the city.”
Medros said the planning committee consists
of Herbie Kupersmith, Richie Zabot, Harold Mindel, Sheila Watnick, Tom Barth,
Ellen Rovner, Carmella Cavallaro, Carol Clingan, Elaine Cohen, and Devra Zabot.
A celebration for all
Sunday’s event will begin with a “Todah
Reception” at 1:30 p.m. that will recognize the sponsors and key contributors
who made the event possible.
will be hors d’oeuvres and light refreshments from 2 to 3 p.m. during which
guests can view the many artifacts and take a tour the synagogue.
At 3 p.m., Medros will deliver the opening
remarks for the speaking program. City Manager Tom Ambrosino and
Councillor-at-Large Leo Robinson will bring the official greetings from city
Chelsea native Harold Mindel, a long-time
and widely admired member of the congregation, will also address the gathering.
Sheldon Young will present a special song for the occasion.
The distinguished guest speakers are Samuel
D. Gruber, international art and architecture history, and Norman H.
Finklestein, Chelsea Jewish historian, who will provide insights on Jewish life
within the city during and after the turn of the century.
Local genealogist Carol Clingan, who
conducts research on behalf of the synagogue, will be available to founders’
descendants looking to learn more about their ancestry.
There will be a klezmer band providing
musical entertainment and a dessert reception.
Future plans call
for a Jewish museum
The event will also mark the announcement of
plans to create the Chelsea Jewish Museum and Cultural Center at the Walnut
Street Synagogue. Going forward, the center will feature cultural events and an
exhibit of its collection of early Jewish artifacts, religious books, and
Ed Medros continues
his efforts at the shul
Ed Medros has been involved in the Walnut
Street Synagogue since 1976 after a fire destroyed the Elm Street Synagogue.
“My parents [Harold and Sarah Medros] were
originally members of the Elm Street Synagogue and after the fire there, we
followed the rabbi [Nochum Cywiak] to Walnut Street.”
He was involved in the shul’s restoration
project in 1991. Seven years ago Herb Kupersmith asked Medros to become more
involved and he assumed the role as president of the shul.
“We have about 100 active congregants and on
the High holidays, we’ll get between 50 and 125 people,” said Medros.
“Sunday is going to be a great celebration,”
he added. “As Ellen Rovner says, Chelsea has always had a strong immigration
history. Chelsea has diversity so you have various groups that have emigrated
here and made this city their home.”
Medros concluded by noting that the Walnut
Street Synagogue is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
“We’re quite proud of that designation,” said
Medros. “There’s not many synagogues that can say that. There’s not many
synagogues that have an ark built by Sam Katz and a painted ceiling by a
gentleman named Mr. Spector. And it seats 1,109 people.”
Earlier this year
Ed Medros was selected as an Honorable Menschion by the Jewish Journal. This
Sunday, Medros will be in the spotlight again, joined by 200 people at the
Founders Day celebration who will show their appreciation with their attendance
at the event and their continuing support of the 132-year-old synagogue.
Developers who want to get around the City’s
parking requirements are going to have to put their money where their mouths
Monday night, the City Council approved an
amendment altering the off-street parking requirements in the zoning ordinance.
Under the change, brought forward by Council President Damali Vidot and
District 1 Councillor Robert Bishop, developers who seek parking relief for
their projects will lose the right to have their tenants take part in the
City’s on-street parking program.
“If a developer wants to build and does not
meet the minimum requirement for parking, we are asking them to enter an
agreement with the people they rent to, to not participate in the residential
parking program,” said Vidot.
As a lack of parking becomes a bigger and
bigger issue in Chelsea, Vidot said developers continue to come forward seeking
relief from parking regulations which typically require two parking spots per
residential unit. Often, she said, those developers will tout the fact that
more people are using public transportation or ride-sharing services and do not
own as many cars. But, Vidot said, the numbers show that car registrations are
heading up in Chelsea, and it becomes harder every day for residents to find a
place to park on the city’s streets.
“It’s important that we try to figure out
how to resolve this issue, and we definitely have an issue in our community,”
Bishop said the issue extends beyond
developers building multi-unit apartment complexes.
“People are going to the Board of Appeals
and they want to convert a two- family house to a three-family house, or a
one-family to a two-family,” Bishop said.
Often, he said, those conversion requests
come with a request to seek relief from the parking requirements.
“Something has to be done, it’s crazy out
there,” said Bishop.
While the change will go into effect on Jan.
1 of next year, Councillor-At-Large Roy Avellaneda took a shot at backdating
the ordinance change to Jan. 1 2015. Effectively, developers who were granted
parking relief since that date could have seen their tenants no longer eligible
for on-street parking stickers.
Several councillors raised objections that
the City could be in legal jeopardy if the ordinance change was back-dated.
However, Avellaneda maintained that participating in the parking program is not
a right, so that taking it away wouldn’t be a legal issue.
City Solicitor Cheryl Watson Fisher was not
as comfortable denying that parking relief granted by the ZBA is a right.
“If someone sought relief, then they have
relief,” she said, adding that if the Council went forward with Avellaneda’s
suggested change, the whole ordinance change would be unenforceable.
Avellaneda withdrew his amendment, and voted
for the change as proposed by Vidot and Bishop.
Councillors Joe Perlatonda and Leo Robinson
cast the two votes against the ordinance change.
“Who are we to say that someone comes into
Chelsea and buys a $500,000 condo or an $800,000 house and we say they can’t
park here?” asked Perlatonda. “There are people parking in Chelsea who do not
live in Chelsea.”
there is a parking issue in the city, but has vocally championed a more
holistic overhaul of the city’s parking regulations to address the issue.
The legacies of Judith
Dyer and Robert “Duke” Bradley will live on in Chelsea, thanks to orders
introduced by the City Council on Monday night.
Council President Damali
Vidot introduced the order approving the dedication of the park at the corner
of Spruce and Heard streets as Judith Dyer Park.
Robinson introduced the order requesting that the Community Cable TV building
be named after Bradley. Bradley, who recently died, was a lifelong Chelsea
resident and best known as the executive director of Chelsea Community Cable
“Earlier this summer, I
received a request from the Beautification Committee that the City dedicate the
small park at the corner of Heard Street and Spruce Street to Judith Dyer,”
stated City Manager Tom Ambrosino. “This small area would be henceforth known
as Judith Dyer Park and would be commemorated with a modest plaque or sign.
Given Ms. Dyer’s civic efforts over the course of many years, this seems to me
a meritorious request.”
The letter from the
Beautification Committee noted that Dyer has been an inspiration to the
residents of Chelsea for a number of years, involved in almost every community
group from the Beautification Committee to GreenRoots, the CET, Conservation Commission,
the ZBA, TND’s Board of Directors, and other committees.
“At a time of nationwide
distrust of institutions and declining civic engagement, we need more people
like Judith to step up and participate in making Chelsea the best it can be,”
the letter further stated.
•In other business Monday
night, Ambrosino updated the Council on Logan Airport noise-related topics.
Over the summer, with the
help of GreenRoots, the City secured a pro bono proposal to do some noise
monitoring in Chelsea. An initial public information session about the proposal
is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 12 at 6 p.m. at the GreenRoots office.
Ambrosino also stated
that there have been discussions with another Georgia firm to conduct
additional testing at a cost of $25,000. The City Manager recommended the
Council approve using money from the City’s stabilization fund to pay for the
District 1 Councillor
Robert Bishop said he supports noise testing, but was against funding it from
the City’s stabilization fund, which he said should be the last option for
funding City programs and requests. The Council agreed to take up the funding
request at a future conference committee meeting.
•District 6 Councillor
Giovanni Recupero requested Ambrosino look into giving all senior citizen
homeowner occupants a 30 percent discount on their water bills.
“It’s a good thing to do
to give the seniors who live here a little break to try to keep them in our
city,” Recupero said.
When ALS resident Melissa King participates
in the 11th annual ALS & MS Walk for Living on Sunday, Oct. 6, she’ll be
celebrating a special achievement. As reported in last week’s Chelsea Record,
being able to plant a garden seemed impossible to Melissa, 49, after she was
diagnosed with ALS in 2014. Melissa cannot speak or walk and has very limited
use of her arms/hands. Yet through sheer determination –and a little help from
her friends at the Leonard Florence Center for Living (LFCL) –Melissa was able
to turn her dream into reality.
This past summer she oversaw the planting
and maintenance of three vibrant vegetable, herb and flower community gardens.
As Melissa says, “The Center provided me with a strong support system while
enabling me to be independent.” For Melissa and all the ALS (amyotrophic
lateral sclerosis) and MS (multiple sclerosis) residents at LFCL, the freedom
to live independently is an incredibly precious gift.
The 11th annual ALS & MS Walk for Living
will help raise funds for the care of these inspiring individuals such as King.
This year, the Walk for Living will take
place at 10 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 6, at 165 Captains Row in Chelsea. Expected to
attract more than 1,000 walkers, the two-mile walk has become a popular
family-friendly event in the Greater Boston area. Over the past 11 years, the
event has raised almost $2 million dollars. Operated by the non-profit Chelsea
Jewish Lifecare, the Leonard Florence Center for Living cares for more
individuals with ALS than any place else in the world.
“The Walk for Living brings together a
community of passionate, caring individuals,” said Barry Berman, CEO of Chelsea
Jewish Lifecare. “I have been amazed at the support of our local communities,
businesses, families, friends and, of course, the residents themselves. Their
zest for living inspires us every single day.”
What’s so unique about the Center is that
residents, many of whom are completely immobilized, can control lights, turn on
the TV, call for the elevator, open doors and raise window shades, all with
help of a computer and sensor that tracks head and eye movements for
instruction. In essence, they can control anything with an on and off switch
with their eyes, allowing them to move freely through the entire residence. The
Leonard Florence Center for Living is
the country’s first urban model Green House skilled nursing facility.
This year’s Walk for Living will honor
Phyllis and Alan Bolotin.
As long-time residents of the North Shore,
they have contributed to organizations for years through their generosity,
time, passion and dedication. “Phyllis and I are so proud to be involved with
the Leonard Florence Center for Living and the 2019 Walk for Living,” said Alan
Bolotin. “The Leonard Florence Center residents continuously inspire us. It is
our fervent hope that this event will raise funds and awareness about living
with ALS and MS today.”
Beloved radio personality Matt Siegel, host
of Matty in the Morning on KISS 108, will once again act as emcee to kick-off
the walk. Major corporate sponsors include Lundgren Management, M&T Bank
and Patients Like Me.
The Independent Newspaper Group continues to
be the media sponsor. Immediately following the walk, there will be a BBQ
hosted by Chili’s, face painting, live dance performances, a petting zoo, a
photo booth and a raffle. The $20 donation fee to participate includes a Walk
for Living tee shirt, BBQ and all activities.
“I am honored to emcee the 11th annual ALS
& MS Walk for Living,” said Matt Siegel. “Over the years I’ve had the
opportunity to get to know the amazing residents at the Leonard Florence
Center. Their incredible courage, strength, humor and love of life are an
inspiration to us all.”
begins at 9 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 6, and the Walk begins at 10 a.m. The Walk for
Living is one of the few walks that are dog friendly. To start or sponsor a
team or to make a much-appreciated donation, please visit www.walkforliving.org or contact Walk
Director Maura Graham at
email@example.com or 617.409.8973.
•Over the summer science teachers Cristina
Caruso and Gabby Strasser ran a program on Climate Change Resilience in
Chelsea. Rising fifth graders in the program learned about how climate change
impacts the city and focused on the heat island effect that drastically impacts
the temperature in urban areas. During the two-week program, students took a
trip around Chelsea to observe the impacts of heat on the city, took a trip to
The Greenway in Boston to see how green space is being used to in surrounding
cites to mitigate heat, read parts of ‘It’s Your World’ by Chelsea
Clinton and ‘What is Climate Change’ by Gail Herman, and they
developed projects designed to educate others on ways to increase climate
change resiliency in Chelsea. Afterwards some of the students presented their
projects to their peers and to parents and staff at the Back to School
•The Berkowitz School had a great opening
two weeks. On Friday, it held the first school-wide assembly. Students learned
about core values of Respect, Responsibility, Empathy, and Determination. Ms.
Malik, Ms. Kelleher, and their students helped teach how parts of the brain do
different things. They also led the first school-wide “mindful moment.” Lastly,
students learned about the online store where they can design their own
Berkowitz School apparel. The store can be found at BerkowitzSpiritWear.com
•The Hooks School had super-motivated 4th
Graders who rocked summer reading. Teachers look forward to seeing them
continue to flourish this year.
•Our 2nd grade team gives kids a choice of
how they want to be greeted each morning. Ms. Gilligan’s students let her know
if they’d like to start the day with a hug, high-five, fist-bump, handshake, or
a friendly “hello.”
•Students and teachers have quickly dove
right into reading: Ms. Madden’s 2nd graders got into “read to self” time with
a twist: They each get to whisper-read with a small stuffed animal that’s eager
•Fourth-grade teachers invited Kelly
scholars to “dine” on some new “flavors” of books by hosting a Book Tasting
Event the first week of school. Students “tasted” books from a variety of
different genres and made a list of titles, series, and genres they’d like to devour
Clark Avenue Middle
•CAMS welcomed families back to school with
the annual Potluck dinner. It was great to see familiar faces and welcome new
families. Also, Mr. Thomas introduced fifth graders to the many
instruments they can learn this year in music.
Wright Middle School
5th Grade artists at WSTA got their hands
messy this week in art class with some paste painting fun.
The USS Constitution set sail Friday, Aug. 30, in the Mystic River abutting Chelsea and into Boston Harbor as part of the US Navy’s Heritage Week. Officers Select come from all over the world to learn about the Constitution, to do community service around the region and to learn about the history of the Navy.
The Planning Board is supporting an
amendment to the City’s inclusionary housing and zoning ordinance that will
make it easier for low-income residents to rent affordable housing units.
The proposed change in the ordinance will
also increase the amount of money developers will need to pay the City if they
attempt to opt-out of building affordable units in projects of 10 or more
The amendment first came before the Planning
Board in April, and at Tuesday night’s meeting, the board unanimously supported
recommending the changes in the ordinance.
The inclusionary housing ordinance was first
introduced by At-Large City Councillor Leo Robinson in 2016, according to Lad
Dell, the city planner and land use administrator.
“The reason was that in the Greater Boston
area, the cost of housing has gone up astronomically, and Chelsea has not been
isolated from that. There was a concern that long-time Chelsea residents would
be pushed out.”
But the original ordinance set the
eligibility guidelines at 80 percent of the Average Median Income (AMI) to
qualify for affordable units.
Since the AMI is based on income for the
Greater Boston area, and not just Chelsea, that figure stood at about $89,000
for a family of four. Dell noted that the figure is well above the average
Chelsea income of $55,000 for a family of four.
Under the new amendment, the affordable
rental units will now be evenly split between 80, 50, and 30 percent AMI.
Condominium projects will remain at the 80 percent AMI level.
Developers who build projects of 10 or more
units must set aside at least 15 percent of those units as affordable.
“If a developer did not want to provide the
15 percent of affordable units, they had the option of a $200,000 payment in
lieu per unit,” said Dell. “That was raised to $400,000 in April.”
Planning Board member Eric Asquith asked
what the rationale was for raising the payment in lieu to $400,000.
“The $400,000 price tag kind of startles a
lot of people, but that’s what it costs to build an affordable unit in
Chelsea,” said Alex Train, assistant director of planning.
However, Train said developers still need
City approval to substitute the payments for the creation of affordable units.
Planning Board member Sara Arman questioned
why the rate was set at 15 percent and not higher.
“That’s on par with other communities,” said
Train. “We want to have a balance between affordable housing and encouraging
Several board members noted that there is
very little developable land in Chelsea, with member Mimi Rancatore asking if
the number triggering affordable units should be lowered from 10 to eight.
Train said that most of the development in Chelsea
is reuse or redevelopment of existing land.
“It’s about that
balance,” he said. “One thing that has proven to lower prices is building more
houses, and if we set (the affordable housing number) below 10, it may
discourage more building.”
Nothing is more frustrating than being in a
hurry and finding oneself second fiddle to the needs of a 10-ton oil tanker as
the Chelsea Street Bridge raises to the top in the midst of the day.
Since the Chelsea Street Bridge came into
existence, and especially since the new Silver Line SL3 service expanded to
Chelsea last year, the Bridge operations have become a major backbreaker for
those trying to cross it with vehicles – including residents, MBTA buses and
MassPort Employee shuttles. Because maritime traffic has precedent over land
traffic, according to the Coast Guard, the Bridge has to go up when a vessel
requests it to.
That has resulted in five or more lifts in a
day at times, and with no warning.
In a meeting this month at Chelsea City
Hall, MassDOT announced the rollout of their new Advanced Notification Program
(ANP) and the tweaks that are being made to help it work better.
They also updated the crowd on the long-term
efforts being undertaken to try to change the operations of the Bridge so it’s
more accommodating to vehicles and buses – particularly during the morning and
evening rush hours.
“We know how difficult this Bridge is and
how much a problem it can become for residents on both sides of the Chelsea
Creek,” said Andrea Donato of MassDOT. “It’s larger and higher than the old
bridge…When that Bridge goes up, no vehicles, no pedestrians and no cyclists
can cross it. It causes significant and unpredictable delays for anyone that
wants to use it.”
On July 8, the ANP went into effect, and
it’s been “clunky” Donato said because it has been hard to get information.
The system uses electronic boards and the
‘LoganToChelsea’ Twitter feed (and other social media) to announce the
estimated time of a lift on the Bridge and the duration for it to be up.
“This is a critical time in the program so
the second goal is to get your ideas and we need to know from you about what we
can do to make communication better,” she said. “We need to make it better.”
A second piece of the project is trying to
make long-term changes to the operations of the Bridge that are friendlier to
those on land, and accommodating to maritime uses as well – which can only
operate at high tide and some only during daylight hours.
“The first thing we’ve been working on is to
find out how to get the best data now so we can at least communicate better
today and improve operations,” she said. “Our longer term goals take time and
take data. We’re still working on those, but they’ll take more time…Since
February, the momentum has been to implement Advanced Notification…and collect
data for an application to the Coast Guard because there was no data
In addition to ANP, the other two goals
include applying to the Coast Guard for the ability to have dual lift heights
and to have time of day restrictions. Dual lift heights would allow operators
to only have to lift the Bridge halfway for some vessels, thus lowering the
wait times on land. Right now, every lift is required to go the full 175-feet
up. Time of day restrictions would be for the Bridge to stay closed during rush
hour times, or the like.
Matthew Denning of the US Coast Guard said
maritime traffic has precedent and the Coast Guard takes that seriously.
“There is a process for changing the
regulations, but it takes a long time and can only be changed if it will not
increase the risk of maritime safety,” he said. “It can take up to five years
in the worst-case scenario, but the Captain of the Port would not approve such
a change if it would increase risk.”
One of the things Donato said they are
concentrating on at the moment is working with Moran – a shipping agent that
controls almost all of the traffic on the Creek – to get reliable data.
“The ANP rollout on July 8 was clunky
because it was hard to get data,” she said. “We’re at a point where we need to
have this working because it is at a critical time.”
A representative from Moran said they have
some trouble finding out when barges might come in, but they do know the
approximate time for all other vessels because they handle about 95 percent of
the traffic on the Creek. Using Moran, their information is relayed to
MassPort, MBTA and MassDOT to distribute on their networks, which include
electronic boards, Twitter, T Alerts, and websites.
Still, there can be challenges.
The Moran representative said sometimes
there can be fog in the Harbor that holds ships up, even though it’s sunny on
land. That can result in a backlog, and the information could be inaccurate. It
could also result in about eight to 10 lifts in a short period of time to clear
Also, he said it can be difficult to try to
control the times of oil tankers, which are restricted to coming and going at
high-tide, and during daylight.
“The ships, if full, are required to come to
come through the Creek at high tide and during daylight,” he said. “They can
only leave during daylight hours.”
The system is still in progress, and MassDOT
is looking for feedback on the program through their website, under the ANP
Linda Breau is retiring from
the Chelsea school system and she’s learning just how much her colleagues and
the schoolteachers have appreciated her 26 years of service in the city.
Breau, who is deputy
superintendent of the Chelsea public schools, received a warm, standing ovation
from the entire assemblage of teachers and administrators when she was honored
Monday during the program at the annual back-to-school breakfast.
Dr. Mary Bourque,
superintendent of Chelsea schools, presented the award to her esteemed
colleague. Chelsea education’s dynamic duo has been together since 1998 leading
the school system to many successes.
“I have the bittersweet and
yet privilege to honor a dedicated lifelong educator – Deputy Supt. Linda
Breau, who will be retiring in a mere 35 days,” Bourque said.
“Linda is a lifelong
educator who served in the Chelsea schools since 1993 – 26 years,” noted
Bourque. “She began her career as a paraprofessional at the ELC, went on to
serve our students as ESL teacher, Assistant Principal, and Principal of the
Clark Avenue Middle School.
“She moved to Central Office
in 2011 as Assistant Superintendent and was then promoted to Deputy Superintendent
in 2016. We have been side by side learning, serving, having successes and at
times making mistakes – but always learning, always looking to be better.”
continued her praise of the beloved administrator, stating, “We are a better
school district today because of Linda’s quiet strength, relentless work ethic;
her love of our students and Chelsea families.
“Personally I am a better
leader and better superintendent today because she has always been by my side.
Linda has changed lives and touched so many,” said Bourque. “So before she
leaves at the end of September for a well-deserved retirement, I want to
publicly thank her for her service and for friendship to us all and to me.”
As Breau left her seat and
approached the podium, the crowd stood up and acknowledged her accomplishments
with hearty applause. Making the moment even more significant for Linda Breau
was the fact that her husband, Robert “Bobby” Breau, a Chelsea High School
alumnus and one of the city’s greatest athletes, was there to witness it all
from a seat in the VIP section.
Breau humbly accepted the
award, thoughutfully acknowledging all employees in the school system in her
“I couldn’t think of a
better way to spend the last 26 years than working in this wonderful district,”
she said. “I have met and befriended so any wonderful and dedicated people,
from paraprofessionals to teachers/support staff to administrators to custodial
crew to kitchen staff to security.
“It takes a village and you
are that village. It has been an honor and a privilege to have worked with all
“I’m proud of who Chelsea Public Schools
has become today. I’m so proud that we welcome and educate. We open our doors
and provide opportunity to our kids. One thing I ask as I leave the district:
keep on welcoming and educating! Our kids need all of you.”
The School Department will be able to
replace a number of positions and items cut from the original 2019-2020 budget
due to an influx of state monies from the final State Budget.
Last Thursday night, the School Committee
approved an additional $1.3 million in state Chapter 70 appropriations.
That money will be used to add one
attendance officer and a half-time special education clerk in the special
education department, increase salary contingencies and health insurance funds
across the district, add one social communications teacher and two
paraprofessionals and increase funding for substitutes at the Early Learning
Center and the elementary schools, add a special education inclusion teachers
at the Clarke and Browne middle schools, and correct funding for athletic
coaches and increase funding for substitutes at the high school, among other
The City Council will now have to approve
the additional funding.
“Each year, the Governor’s proposed budget
numbers are used by CPS as the foundation for the upcoming year’s budget,”
stated Supt. Mary Bourque.
When the state budget is finally adopted
after deliberations by the House and Senate and considered by the governor, the
budget allocations by school district typically change.
The $1.3 million is separate and apart from
any changes to the “pothole” funding which could be finalized by the state in
the next several weeks, according to Bourque.
Last year, the Chelsea schools received just
under $300,000 in the pothole funding.
“I think it will be something in the same
range this year,” said Bourque.
As the schools await the additional funding,
Bourque said it’s important for parents and teachers to continue to advocate
for a change in the way the state determines the foundational school budget for
districts such as Chelsea. Bourque noted that Chelsea’s special education
program and benefits are underfunded by approximately $17 million.
“The state legislature is working on a bill
to fix the foundation budget,” said Bourque. “We want to make sure it is
something we can live with for the next 25 years. We need the City Council to
continue to advocate alongside us.”
•In other School Committee business, Bourque
updated the board on the superintendent transition plan.
Superintendent-elect Almi Abeyta will be
constantly shadowing Bourque through Dec. 1. On Dec. 1, Bourque will take a
step back and Abeyta will begin making school district decisions.
Bourque’s last day is Dec. 31, and Jan. 1,
2020 will be Abeyta’s first official day as superintendent.