Qualified, Talented People with Educators in Family, need not Apply!

That is the message the Lowell School Committee apparently wants to convey to anyone who is family and works in the Lowell School Dept.

School Committee member Kim Scott who is no fan of Deputy Supt. Jay Lang drafted a motion in 2013 to develop this anti-family motion.

Jays wife who meets all the posted qualifications for the job of assistant principal was appointed to that position. Before that she worked in the school system as a teacher. Her crime is being married to Jay. (God Bless her for that). Jill Lang, who is by birth Jay’s sister and herself a longtime worker in the School Dept. was selected by Brian Martin, LHS Headmaster to be the Director of the Freshman Academy at the high school.

The horror, two well qualified women who grew up and work here in the city aren’t supposed to be able to advance their careers because of who their spouse or brother is? Sounds like another form of discrimination or is it a liberal war on woman?

Correct me if I am wrong but looking at the Organization chart, Jay Lang has NO /ZERO direct supervision over either of these positions.

I can understand making a motion that would state that a Supervisor (Principle , Dept. Head – Asst. Supt – Supt) cannot directly hire and supervise an immediate relative.

To try to extend that by playing the what if game – “If the superintendent was out of district or incapacitated, Jay Lang, as deputy superintendent would be the supervisor of his wife and sister. I just think that’s wrong.” is wrong!

I’m disappointed a school committee member is actually quoted stating “nepotism is rampant” in the School Department, NO family members never follow in the footsteps of their parents. Have you met Brian Martin?

So talented people from Lowell and elsewhere who are 2nd generation or husband/wife , brother sister need not apply? I can name a ton of solid teachers/ administrators that have done a good job for the Lowell School System – Mike Crowley and his son Mike / Kay-Roger-Brian Martin / Bill & Pat Kealy / Scott Davis and his wife etc etc.

Is this School Committee really telling us that if a person meets all the qualifications for a posted position, if they are related to someone in Administration or a Principle in another School , then SCREW we don’t want you advancing / improving the educational system here in Lowell?

What are we talking about maybe 16 Administrators? Really this is the most pressing item that School Committee members think needs addressing?

The Supt. released a statement in the SUN when this ridiculous motion was first discussed: quoting a portion of state law Chapter 71, section 67:

“Superintendents of schools; penalty for accepting fees for obtaining positions; employment of immediate family of certain persons prohibited,” reads in part, that a school district is prohibited from assigning “a member of the immediate family of the principal as an employee at the principal’s school, unless written notice is given to the school committee of the proposal to employ or assign such a person at least two weeks in advance of such person’s employment or assignment.”

Franco said school employees often have familial ties. She added: “One day I’m criticized for hiring Lowell people, and the next day I’m slapped on the head for hiring from the outside. But this isn’t something that started in 2011 (when Franco was hired). There is a long history here.”

The City Legal team advises the Board that:

There are currently three variations of policies, which address the hiring of family members. Approximately 60 communities in Massachusetts currently have adopted some policy. Of those, the vast majority (44) have formally adopted the approach which, pursuant to Massachusetts General Laws, requires two weeks’ notice to the public before a school district hires a member of the immediate family of a superintendent, central office administrator, or school committee member. MGL ch. 71, §67. “Immediate family” in this context means the person’s spouse, parents, children, brothers and sisters. MOL ch. 268A, §1(e).

At least 44 Massachusetts school districts have policies that reflect this state law minimum.

In order to avoid the appearance of any possible conflict, it is the policy of the School Committee that when an immediate family member, as defined in the Conflict of Interest statute, of a School Committee member or district administrator is to be hired into or promoted within the School District, the Superintendent shall file public notice with the School Committee and the Town or District Clerk at least two weeks prior to executing the hiring in accordance with the law.”

Will they listen or will they try to do what only 16 communities have and be more restrictive?

You want to discourage and bar qualified candidates from applying to improve the Lowell School System because of a personality conflict draped in Political Correctness?

Before we create more rules that discourage people from working for a School Committee that can’t properly negotiate a contract with a Supt., shouldn’t we allow REAL Educators to do their jobs and follow their suggestions and that of our Legal dept.?

I’d trust them more than a bunch of people who think they are Horace Mann because they were elected to the School Committee. (H/T to my friend the late Tom Burns who used to opine that).

Does the The Lowell School Committee really want to tell the citizens that although Jane X is the most qualified Candidate to better the Lowell School System and help us in educating our children, they have to go to Chelmsford or Dracut because their Husband / Wife or Sister / Brother is already doing that for Lowell and we can’t have more than one family member bettering the education of the students in this city!

2 thoughts on “Qualified, Talented People with Educators in Family, need not Apply!

  1. It seems that most of the people who are against this resolution are people who have relatives they’d like to have jobs.

    There are many organizations (UPS for example) that do not allow more than (1) member of a family to work for the entire organization.

  2. Gerry This topic totally amazes me, someone runs for office or goes to school and works hard and lands themselves a better job and their family members are then subject to the worst kind of discrimination possible . They ( if Scott and company have their way) will now be band from every be able to apply for a job in the same system as their loved one works. And this is fair WHY? I remember when I was on the school committee at the Tech, a teaching job came up and my wife applied for it. I stayed as far away from it as humanly possible. She was by far the most qualified person to apply, she got the job. The Superintendent even asked the committee in session ( with me not in the room ) if anyone wanted to object. No one did, however on member ( who will remain nameless) wrote the Dept of Education to challenge her qualifications not once but 3 times and was told 3 times that she was more than qualified. But she still had that stigma over her the entire time but certain ” do gooders like Scott” that she stole the job. She recently retired and was lauded by her boss as the best teacher in her department. And I have been off the committee for over 6 years now. So Ms Scott before you go trying to ruin someone’s life think about what you are doing, your motion took this long to be discussed because your fellow school board members know it is a BS motion

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