During the budget hearing at around 9:45 Parent (and my LHS Classmate) Sharon Hardy Gallagher stepped up to the mic and called out Paul Georges and the teachers Union. She spoke about what many parents and citizens have been saying. It is time for Paul Georges to put his mouth in park in regard to rhetoric and start to work with the Supt. and school committee on giving back to the City of Lowell.
A Little after 10:00 pm Paul Georges took the mic and announced a $10,000 donation from the UTL to act as seed money to use for athletic and after school programs for middle schools and the High School.
He then went on in a very passionate and sincere speech defending the teachers union saying NO ONE knows what they have given up and also sighting the fact that only 46% of the Union is still on the City Master Medical. A fact not widely known. He spoke like the passionate union President that he is but also as a teacher who does care for kids. I may be wrong (again) Paul Georges does care more than I gave him credit for.
He also and maybe rightly took some credit for pressuring the City to step up before the Union makes any concession. He is correct that a lot of pressure was on the city because of contracts in place.
His best line was DON”T EVER QUESTION A TEACHERS COMMITTMENT TO THE KIDS! NO ONE EXCEPT THEIR PARENTS CARE MORE. A fact a teacher friend of mine shared with me many times this weekend.
I fully believe he and the Union will now step up and help the Schools save Media/Library staff and maybe a few other programs as well.
I give him credit, he took a week or so of beatings by myself and many others and never backed down nor defended his actions.
Instead he waited out the City Manager and waited for the budget to be announced all the while working with Bill Samaras on trying to fund some after school activities, getting the Union to donate $10,000 and then offering to now meet to help close approx. 1 Million Dollars in cuts.
While things are still bad, they are not as bad and now we will watch and see Paul Georges and the Union step up.
Credit also to the School Committee for their passion and diligence in going through page by page and talking about issues they care about while making painful cuts. No one wants to cut but they have to and did.