Enliven Downtown Chelsea Prospers Unveils Plans For ‘Chelsea Night Market’ This Summer

Enliven Downtown Chelsea Prospers Unveils Plans For  ‘Chelsea Night Market’ This Summer

The City’s Chelsea Prospers initiative has been working behind the scenes for months – often hinting that something fun is coming – and last week they unveiled the Chelsea Night Market, the newest, biggest plan yet to enliven the downtown district.

Director Mimi Graney has been working with Chelsea native Edwardo Chacon, of Jukebox Events, to come up with a summer gathering in the parking lot behind the Chelsea Walk – a ‘Night Market’ that would take place five times on Saturdays in the summer.

“This is going to be a reflection of the City in its first year,” said Graney. “As it grows more popular, you’re going to see the abutting cities like East Boston, Everett and Revere coming. We want vendors here to be Chelsea residents. We want artists and performers to be Chelsea residents. We do want to mix it up too. The Night Market is for the City of Chelsea and for residents.”

The idea was also championed during a Chelsea Prospers meeting on Feb. 6 by Edwardo Chacon. Chacon grew up in Chelsea and graduated from Chelsea High School. After that, he went to college in Florida and then lived in Los Angeles for many years, doing corporate marketing events with big budgets.

And every time he returned to Chelsea, he said he could picture some sort of hip, fun market taking place in his hometown.

Now, having returned to Chelsea a year ago, he decided to try to help make it happen.

“I always came back and felt like something like I was doing elsewhere could really happen in Chelsea,” he said. “I would look at the city and just feel that Chelsea had the right atmosphere to do these things too and one year ago I moved back and felt like I had to try. My goal is to do the same things I was doing elsewhere in Chelsea. I feel Chelsea is a city that’s perfectly located for this and the people deserve it. They would love it and be filled with a sense of excitement.”

The layout of the event would be in the City parking lot behind the Chelsea Walk. There would be a stage for performances, vendor booths in the middle, places for food and an art installation in the back end. In the future, next year hopefully, the initiative hopes of have a beer garden in the back end. However, Graney said they discovered that the laws against public drinking are too strict and couldn’t be changed in time to accommodate this year’s market.

Many in the audience, however, were very excited about the idea of a beer garden and talked for some time about how to make it happen. However, Graney said it is out for this year, but she did say the enthusiasm in the room for a beer garden would help for changing the ordinances so next year one could be put in the mix.

Graney said they hope to have fire jugglers, creative lighting and artists of all kinds. The entertainment would vary, with the times for the market being from 7-10 p.m.

The tentative dates are June 8, July 13, Aug. 10, Sept. 21, and Oct. 5.

The first one on June 8, Graney said, would have a graduation theme since the next day is graduation.

“It’s going to be a pre-celebration for the high school senior class,” she said. “We have baby pictures of all of the kids and an artist is creating a collage . There will be performers from the class and they are really going to be our ambassadors.”

Vendors would be selling new and used items, and it would be highly curated and very unique. There would also be service oriented vendors like henna tattoo and chair massage. The food would be hot and ready to eat street food using BBQ grills and such instead of food trucks.

“It would be scaled for an intimate, community oriented atmosphere,” read the literature.

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Chelsea Cultural Council Announces Grant Recipients

Chelsea Cultural Council Announces Grant Recipients

The Chelsea Cultural Council has announced the awarding of grants totalling $20,809 to 18 local artists, schools and cultural organizations.

The grants were awarded from a pool of funds distributed to Chelsea by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency that supports public programs and educational activities in the arts, sciences, and humanities.

“We are very grateful to Governor Baker and the Legislature for their continued support of the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the funding that directly benefits cultural activities here in Chelsea, said Marlene Jennings Chair. Our city has its own unique identity and in these sponsored events we get to really experience the spirit of Chelsea.”

Awardees for this year are:

•Browne Middle School: Speaker – Lost Boy of Sudan, $250

•Chelsea Black Community: Black History Month, $1,800

•Chelsea Community Connections: Chelsea Fun Bus, $1,000

•Chelsea Public Library: A Universe of Stories, $1,500

•Clark Avenue Middle School: Zumix Mini-Series, $979

•Comite de Hondurenos Unidos de MA: Central American Parade & Cultural Festival, $1,500

•Eliza Gagnon: Chelsea Zone Time Map, $800

•Ellen Rovner: The Chelsea Gateway Project, $720

•Governor Bellingham-Cary House Association: Photographic Documentation Project, $959

•GreenRoots: Bringing Community to Revel at the Revitalized ChelseaWalk, $800

•Lewis Latimer Society & Museum: Chelsea Science Festival, $800

•MUSIC Dance.edu: Hip Hop Around the World, $380

•Stacy Amaral: We Are Here/ Aqui Estamos, $600

•TheatreZone, Inc. DBA, Apollinaire Theatre Company: Apollinaire in the Park 2019, $1,500

•The Musary, JRP Inc.: Musical instruments Lending Acquisitions, $800

•Veronica Robles: Serenara a Chelsea by Veronica Robles Female Mariachi, $1,500

•Walnut Street Synagogue: A Photo Documentary of Chelsea Life in the 1970’s, $1,800

The Chelsea Cultural Council (CCC) has also set aside an additional $3,121 to complete a public mural project in collaboration with Chelsea Public School Art Department that began in the fall of 2018. The CCC is one of 329 local councils that serve every city and town in the state. The state legislature provides an annual appropriation to the Massachusetts Cultural Council, which then allocates funds to each local council. Decisions, about which activities to support, are made at the community level by the council.

The members of the Chelsea Cultural Council are: Marlene Jennings, Chair; Dakeya Christmas, Co-Chair; Devra Sari Zabot, Recorder; Juliana Borgiani, Treasurer; Sharlene McLean, Angelina McCoy, and Carolina Anzola. The CCC will seek applications again this fall. CCC Guidelines will be available online as well as the 2020 application beginning Sept. 1, 2019 at www.mass-culture.org/chelsea.

The deadline to apply is Tuesday, Oct. 15.

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Stem Night Egg Drop

Stem Night Egg Drop

Twin sisters Eliana and Edlyn Hernandez (8) unwrap their vessel to see if their egg is still hard boiled or scrambled, and the twins find success – one intact egg. The twin sisters were just one group out of many that joined in on the Kelly School’s STEM Night Egg Drop experiment last Thursday, Jan. 31. Students used math, science and engineering lessons to create a protective cover for their egg, which was then dropped from a 30-foot crane.

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‘A Dream Come True’: New Children’s Librarian Always Envisioned Helping Chelsea Kids

‘A Dream Come True’: New Children’s Librarian Always Envisioned Helping Chelsea Kids

New Children’s Librarian Katherine Palencia said landing the position at the Library is a dream come true for her.

When new Children’s Librarian Katherine Palencia sits at her desk in the basement of the Chelsea Public Library near the Children’s Rooms, it’s a place that has been familiar to her since she was a little girl – coming to the library with her mother and experiencing a safe, learning environment.

Now she has been hired as the new full-time librarian after having worked part-time at the library for about 10 years, and is excited to share her love of reading with a new generation of Chelsea kids.

“I didn’t want to leave Chelsea because my family is here and my memories are here,” she said. “I don’t want to work in any other area. I want to help Chelsea grow and I want to be part of the growth…This position is a dream come true for me. I worked here in high school and came back after college and have been here since 2011. It’s a dream come true because I believe in what the library provides – the education and the free access to information. I enjoy seeing kids excited about reading or coming to work on their homework. I want to help them out. It’s a dream come true because I have always seen myself here.”

Palencia attended St. Rose School as a girl, and then went to the Williams Middle School. She attended Chelsea High School and graduated in 2007. She graduated from Salem State and is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Library Science at Cambridge College.

Palencia said her memories of the Chelsea Library are very comforting, and she hopes to be able to pass that on.

“I think it was the people who made it very special,” she said. “They had great relationships with my mother coming in here and being able to feel comfortable and to ask questions. They always quenched the curiosity I had.”

Palencia has been spearheading the English as a Second Language program that meets on Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m., and now she has expanded that to working in the Children’s area.

She said her big push right now is for the upcoming Summer Reading Program.

“I am already really excited about summer reading,” she said. “I am looking for any local businesses wanting to collaborate with the Chelsea Public Library to donate prizes. It could be as simple as a free ice cream cone, or as much as a free bike – which the Knights of Pythias donated last year.”

She said they will be bringing back the story times soon, and will have a full range of winter and spring activities soon as well.

“I’m a life-long Chelsea resident and also very proud to be Latina,” she said. “I’m happy that we can bring in more Spanish speakers. Our staff does a great job and we have so many knowledgeable people to help accommodate everyone.”

Cutline – New Children’s Librarian Katherine Palencia said landing the position at the Library is a dream come true for her. Having fond memories of attending the library as a girl, she said she is excited to pass that on to a new generation of Chelsea kids.

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Guaranteed to Make You Smile: Drs. Mobed and Parsi Find Great Success

Guaranteed to Make You Smile: Drs. Mobed and Parsi Find Great Success

Dr. Fardad Mobed and Dr. Lily Parsi certainly have a lot in common.

Both are scholars, which goes without saying. They hold degrees in engineering: Dr. Mobed, a Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering, Dr. Parsi, three advanced degrees in Civil, Water Resources, and Computer System Engineering.

Both attended dental school in the Boston area. Dr. Mobed completed his dental training at Boston University while Dr. Parsi studied at the Tufts University School of Dental Medicine.

But perhaps, most significantly, they share the same home address. Dr. Mobed and Dr. Parsi are husband and wife, the parents of two children.

And they have been practicing dentistry together at their state-of-the-art offices, Northgate Dental, located at 603 Broadway that has been in existence for 27 years. Dr. Mobed is an endodontist specializing in root canal surgery. Dr. Parsi is a pedodontist specializing in children’s dentistry.

Dr. Mobed began his practice in 1992 at the Northgate Shopping Center before moving to Broadway. Dr. Parsi joined the practice in 2008. They also have a dental practice in Brookline.

Yes, they do work side by side in the Revere office, though as Dr. Parsi states, “I treat the children. He treats mostly adults.”

Of course, everyone asks the question, “What’s it like for a couple to work together?”

“It’s great – we really support each other quite a bit,” said Dr. Parsi. “I feel it’s good to know that you can trust the other person 100 percent.”

Dr. Samantha Bogle is the orthodontist at Northgate. Dr. Joey Chang is the oral surgeon and the director of the pre-doctoral program at Tufts School of Dental Medicine.

Do Dr. Mobed and Dr. Parsi talk about dentistry at home during dinner?

“Unfortunately, a lot,” Dr. Parsi said, smiling.

“We go to dental conferences together but we attend different lectures,” added Dr. Mobed.

The dentists have stayed on top of the major technological advances in their profession and their offices feature the latest state-of-the-art equipment.

“I think one of the biggest changes have been in CT scans and microscopes, and everybody gets white fillings instead of silver fillings,” said Dr. Mobed.

Dr. Parsi said preventive care should begin early. “The primary goal in pediatric dentistry is to prevent cavities, so we want to see children as early as 6 months old, but no later than the first year of age,” said Dr. Parsi. “Because the objective is to teach the parents how to take care of their children, ideally so the children will never have cavities, rather than seeing them at the time when there are already cavities in the mouth.”

Dr. Parsi said Northgate wants to be “a dental home for families, so patients know where to go when there are issues, but hopefully we can prevent these issues from happening.”

27 years in Revere

Dr. Mobed has been a practicing dentist in Revere for 27 years. He has treated two generations of families who have been coming to Northgate Dental.

“I like the people,” said Dr. Mobed. “It’s a good community and they’re appreciative of what you do for them.”

“I’ve had patients who I saw when they were very little, and now they now see him,” said Dr. Parsi. “Depending on the patient’s personality, anywhere between the ages 15-18, they’re ready to see the adult dentist.”

She is proud to see her patients dedicating themselves to dental care and prevention.

“I’m especially happy to see the children whom I’ve seen six months old, because they end up being very healthy, and it makes me sad when somebody whom I’ve never seen, comes in to the office and they have major needs. I’m glad we’ve made such a strong connection to families that we’ve known for a long time. It’s very satisfying.”

Dr. Parsi recommends that her patients have regular dental check-ups every six months.

Interestingly Dr. Mobed came to the United States from Iran 40 years ago with the goal of becoming a professional soccer player.

He accomplished that goal, earning a spot on the Boston Teamen professional team that was based in Framingham.

One of his fondest soccer memories was playing for an Iranian team that had an exhibition game in that country against Brazil and Pele, arguably the greatest soccer player in history.

“In 1978, Brazil came to Iran for some exhibition games when Pele was at the top of his game and was most famous at that time,” recalled Dr. Mobed. “I was fast, but too skinny, otherwise I wouldn’t be a dentist now.” But fortunately for their many patients, Dr. Fardad Mobed and Dr. Lily Parsi are dentists now and they look forward to continuing their successful partnership at Northgate Dental for many years to come.

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Free Exploratory Program at Voke Aimed for Non-Vocational Students

Free Exploratory Program at Voke Aimed for Non-Vocational Students

Northeast Metro Tech is once again opening its doors to non-vocational high school students interested in learning more about technical education.

Through its “Exploring Vocational and Career Technical Pathways,” Northeast is offering a 12-week program for in-district students in grades nine through 12 not currently enrolled at the school to expand their knowledge in one of 13 tech programs.

This is the second year of the program, which is made possible through a $100,000 Cummings Foundation grant that will be used over four years.

“We take our role as our communities’ alternative high school option very seriously,” Principal Carla Scuzzarella said. “This grant provides us with the means to offer vocational and technical opportunities for students who are thinking about options for their future.”

Divided into three four-week programs, students in Northeast’s district who sign up for Exploring Vocational and Career Technical Pathways are welcomed to the school on Saturdays to experience a number of career pathways. The free courses are led by a Northeast instructor and participants get an abridged version of each shop’s curriculum.

Given the success of last year’s pilot program, Northeast is now offering courses in nearly all of its tech programs — automotive technology, business technology, drafting and design, carpentry, cosmetology, culinary arts, design and visual communications, electrical, health assisting, heating, ventilation and air conditioning/refrigeration, metal fabrication, plumbing and robotics.

“Teachers saw the positive impact this program had on communities during our pilot program and wanted to become more involved,” Program Director Joe O’Brien Jr. said. “This is a great opportunity for students who are interested in one, two or three areas of technical study to learn more and gain valuable skills that can be applied in college or a career.”

Additionally, as part of a $106,320 Skills Capital Grant Northeast received earlier this month, the school will expand the drafting and design program for participants through updated equipment and advanced software.

The first of three sessions will begin on Feb. 2 and continue on Feb. 9, Feb. 16 and March 2. Session two will run from March 9-30 (Saturdays only) and session three begins on April 6, and meets on April 13, April 27 and May 4.

Students can attend all three sessions for free, and pick three different shops to explore, or stick with one for 12 weeks. Transportation to Northeast is not provided.

To apply, students should fill out an application here and email it to O’Brien at jobrien@northeastmetrotech.com, or mail it to the school at:

Northeast Metro Tech

Attn: Joe O’Brien Jr.

100 Hemlock Road

Wakefield, MA 01880 Applicants should apply prior to the start of each session. Those who apply in the middle of a session will be placed in the following session. Anyone with questions should contact O’Brien at jobrien@northeastmetrotech.com or 781-246-0810.

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Police Briefs 01-31-2019

Police Briefs 01-31-2019

MIDDLE SCHOOLER ARRESTED FOR KNIFE ATTACK

On January 14, officers responded to a matter being investigated by the School Resource Officers alleging an assault by means of a dangerous weapon, a knife. Officers spoke to a juvenile male who reported being assaulted by another juvenile male while heading home from the Browne Middle School. As the result of this investigation, an identification was made of a 14-year-old juvenile male suspect that was taken into custody a short time later. No injuries reported, and no weapon was recovered. Officers are continuing to work with the schools for ongoing safety concerns.

A 14-year-old juvenile was charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (knife) and assault and battery.

SCREAMING AT BUSES

On Jan. 15, around 11:33 p.m., officers were called to assist an MBTA bus driver for unruly female shouting at passing cars. Officers arrived and encountered said female shouting obscenities at officers. Despite efforts to calm her down, she continued her tirade and was placed into custody for disorderly person without further incident.

Krysten Kulch, 32, of 58 Garfield Ave., was charged with disorderly conduct.

HEROIN DEALER FROM GARFIELD AVE BUSTED

On Thursday, Jan. 17, detectives were conducting an ongoing drug investigation in the Prattville area after complaints were received. Detectives arranged to contact a potential source of narcotics and subsequently arranged a purchase to be made. After the suspect agreed to meet the officers to sell narcotics at a prearranged spot, the officers observed him to arrive. He met the undercover officer to exchange an amount of US currency for what appeared to be Heroin. The suspect was taken into custody without further incident.

Jose Gonzalez, 48, 105 Garfield Ave., was charged with distribution of a Class A drug (heroin) and unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle.

DRUG DEAL WITNESSED

Officers received a call from dispatch regarding a drug transaction that was witnessed by a civilian in Bellingham Square. Based on the phone call and independent observations corroborating this tip, Officers encountered two individuals at the McDonalds in Bellingham Square. Officers then conducted an independent investigation and developed probable cause to arrest one subject for the Distribution of a Class C Substance as well as an outstanding warrant from the Roxbury District Court. The second subject was identified and criminal charges are being sought for the Possession of Class C. William Falasca, 34, of Medford, was charged with distribution of a Class C drug and one warrant.

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2019 Black History Month

2019 Black History Month

ALL EVENTS ARE FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

February 1st Friday 6pm. Kick Off for Chelsea Black History Month Activities

Gallary 456 – Store Front Exhibit of Black Historical Figures of Chelsea

456 Broadway, Chelsea, MA

Continuation of Exhibit at Chelsea Public Library: Black Migration, WWI,

Chelsea Fire. 569 Broadway, Chelsea, MA

February 5th Tuesday 5 – 7pm. City Hall Art Reception. Art, Poetry, African and African

American Artifacts. Chelsea City Hall, 500 Broadway, Chelsea, MA

February 7th Thursday 12pm and 6pm. Bunker Hill Community College, “Tuskeegee

Airmen”Documentary and Discussion. 70 Everett Avenue, Chelsea

February 19th Monday 5pm. Iglesia la Luz de Cristo. The Councilors Cook Off

Community Dinner. 738 Broadway, Chelsea, MA

February 21st Thursday 12pm. Senior Center – Maya Angelou – Poet and Civil Rights

Hidden Figure. Celebration of Phenominal Women

10 Riley Way, Chelsea, MA

February 22nd Friday 6 – 8pm. Evening of Performing Arts, Clark Avenue School

8 Clark Avenue, Chelsea, MA

February 23rd Saturday 11 – 12:30pm. STEM, Chelsea Public Library

569 Broadway, Chelsea, MA (parent and child participation)

February 26th Tuesday 6 – 8pm. New England Gospel Ensemble

Bunker Hill Community College, Charlestown Campus A300 Auditorium

February 28th Wednesday 5 – 8pm. Black History Month Celebration

Keynote Speaker – Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins

Special Recognition Honoring – “Chelsea Trailblazers

Williams Middle School. 180 Walnut Street, Chelsea, MA

ALL EVENTS PLANNED IN COLLABORATION WITH CHELSEA BLACK COMMUNITY, BLACK HISTORY MONTH PLANNING COMMITTEE, LEWIS H. LATIMER SOCIETY, BUNKER HILL COMMUNITY COLLEGE, CHELSEA SENIOR CENTER, CHELSEA PUBLIC SCHOOLS, CITY OF CHELSEA.

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Chelsea Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency.

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Collins Center Lays Out Roadmap for New Superintendent Search

Collins Center Lays Out Roadmap for New Superintendent Search

It’s been so long since Chelsea has sought out a new superintendent that there isn’t even a current job description.

For so many years, Boston University (BU) appointed a superintendent as it ran the public schools for decades, and when current Supt. Mary Bourque came into the role, it was long-decided that she would succeed former Supt. Tom Kingston – the last BU appointee.

Now, for the first time in 30 or 40 years, the School Committee will be tasked with finding a new leader for the public schools.

“This is all new to all of us,” said Chair Rich Maronski. “It’s even new to the School Department. They don’t even have a job description for superintendent. They have to create one now, which tells you how long it’s been.”

Bourque said the Collins Center was most recently used by the schools to hire Monica Lamboy, the business administrator who took the place of Gerry McCue. She said it was also used to hire City Manager Tom Ambrosino and former City Manager Jay Ash.

“The first couple of steps will go slowly, but from the middle of February to May it will be intense,” she said. “I can’t be involved in it then. I’ll be more of the logistics part. There is a lot of community input, but it’s a School Committee decision. Chelsea hasn’t had a search since before BU…One interesting point is we don’t have any internal candidates. In Revere, Supt. Paul Dakin was succeeded by an internal candidate, Dianne Kelly. None of our internal candidates feel they are ready to move up. Because of that, it’s going to be an outside candidate.”

Maronski, Supt. Bourque and the rest of the Committee met with the Collins Center last Thursday, Jan. 10, to go over the timelines and parameters of the upcoming search.

“It’s all structured by the Collins Center,” he said. “They are looking at the May 2 School Committee meeting for us to vote on this. That would be the first Thursday in May. I believe they will want to get it done by June because that’s a very busy month for us. I think the Collins Center is pretty good. They had all the dates worked out and structured for us. That helps.”

The notice of a job opening will go out on Feb. 8, and focus groups of teachers, staff, parents and community groups will form about the same time. They will be charged with coming up with a candidate profile that will be used by a Screening Committee to review all of the applicants.

The Screening Committee will be selected by the School Committee on March 7, and it will be made up of appointed members, including City Manager Tom Ambrosino, parents and teachers.

They will conduct private interviews of candidates in April, and they will forward a public list of finalists to the Committee around April 4. Community forums and public interviews will take place from April 22 to 25.

A contract is proposed to be signed by May 10.

Bourque said she will remain on through December 2019 so that she can mentor the new person and help transition them into the “Chelsea way.” Since it will be an outside candidate, she said that will be critical. “Chelsea has a very strong reputation and coming in with a solid transition plan with the exiting superintendent to help them is something people will like,” she said. “At the same time, it is an urban district and it is a complex district. Some people don’t like that, others do.”

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Equitable Access:Chelsea School Leaders Demand Educational Equity for All Students at Malden Forum

Equitable Access:Chelsea School Leaders Demand Educational Equity for All Students at Malden Forum

Chelsea School Superintendent
Mary Bourque and Chelsea City Manager Thomas Ambrosino were two panelists
Tuesday night at Malden High School discussing school budget funding.

Chelsea School Superintendent Mary Bourque and Chelsea City Manager Thomas Ambrosino were two panelists Tuesday night at Malden High School during a forum calling on legislators to overhaul the state’s current educational funding model to ensure equity for all students, especially those in low-income areas.

During the state’s last legislative session a bill by State Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz (D-Jamaica Plain) would have recalculated the cost to educate each student in public school districts known as the ‘foundation budget’ and poured millions of dollars into school over the next several years.

However that bill failed and educators like Bourque are calling this mechanism the state uses to provide students with equitable access to educational opportunities ‘obsolete’ and must be revised to meet the expectations of today’s economy.

Because the state has not updated its education funding formula since 1993 to reflect districts’ real health insurance and special education costs, the amount of aid being provided to cover those costs is too small.

To compensate, many districts like Chelsea end up using money that would otherwise have supported core education programs—including Regular Ed. Teachers, Materials & Technology, and Professional Development. This also results in dramatic cuts in other areas of education.

“The time is now because we have no more time left,” said Bourque at Tuesday night’s meeting. “There will be more cuts because we don’t know where the money will come from. We cut all of our after school programs…elementary (afterschool) programs two years ago and middle school after school programs last year. It’s time to make changes to the formula and we need to make the formula work for us. It is time to save the futures of our students and open those doors to the future. We can not afford to have our students go through another year of cuts in their school system.”

The problem for low income school districts like Chelsea is there is a growing equity gap between schools in Chelsea and schools in more affluent areas of the state. When faced with such shortfalls, high-wealth districts can often draw on additional, local revenue. Lower-wealth districts like Chelsea, however, are generally unable to do so and the consequence is that they spend less on resources that are critically important to the quality of education students receive.

“I do think there a lot of school systems in a financial crisis my expectation is that if this is not addressed in this legislative session we are going to have a lot of tough decisions to make like Brockton did where they had to lay off a significant amount of teachers,” said Ambrosino. “We are living in good economic times. State revenues have been running above estimates for quite some time so it’s time for the legislature to use this good fortune and make education a priority once again and invest in education. This is not easy and requires a lot of money so I don’t envy any legislators that have to work on this but budgets are all about priorities. A budget, simply put, is a policy statement on your (the legislation’s) priorities and the legislature once again has to make education a priority. If it doesn’t there will be too many ‘have nots’ in the Commonwealth once again.”

Estimates by lawmakers to fix the budget formula could be as high as $1 billion with Gov. Charlie Baker vowing to put forth his own proposal to fix the broken system after the House and Senate couldn’t agree on a solution last year.

However, Bourque said something has to be done and done soon because Chelsea is running a $7.4 million school budget gap between what the state covers for education and what the Chelsea School District is actually spending to educate students.

“Morally obligated to meet our students needs and provide for them so they can be successful and have futures,” said Bourque. “Sometimes, as a superintendent, I feel like we’ve been living on a ‘fixed budget’ since 1993 and that fixed income is not working. The result is that we are stretched too thin.”

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