NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

January 18, 2013

Pentucket budget under public review

Officials seeking a 2.5 percent increase for district

(Continued)

Mulqueen said he believes the Pentucket communities want to adequately fund the schools, but the district’s leaders first must establish trust through transparency in the budget process.

Parent Laurel Mackey worried a proposed plan to consolidate functions in the district’s special education and guidance departments would create too large of a position for one person to effectively handle. Mackay and fellow parent Joan Reynolds said the special education director and out-of-district placement post oversee a plethora of legal issues and meetings involving some of the district’s most vulnerable students. They encouraged Mulqueen to retain current SPED Director Jack Tiano, whom they feel has significantly improved Pentucket’s Special Education Department in recent years.

Mulqueen said he will be taking another look at the restructuring and carefully considering the qualifications of whomever is hired to fill the new position. “I don’t want anyone’s job not to be doable,” he said.

But he stressed that when it comes to the hard decisions needed to resolve the budget gap, “I am holding the classroom sacred.”

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