Worcester schools flunking PCBs test, union says

For years, union officials have been forced to take on the role of PCB police. They have tested for the cancer-causing chemicals in the window caulking at some schools, and found reason for serious concern — while Worcester school officials have put up bureaucratic walls, they say, including pointing to following federal guidelines. Why then are state courts not convinced? Richard Nangle brings us up to date, including a recent ruling in the union’s favor.

Up Next: Worcester officials plan pursuit of at least $4.6M in state school funds

The state left school districts like Worcester hanging in 2010. Six years later, that money still hasn’t arrived and many including a chief school administrator and an at-large councilor believe it’s high time to get it back. But how much exactly is due? The school official’s initial estimate and a published report called for nearly $12 million. We did the math. Patrick Sargent has the latest.

Worcester schools pivot, grant special needs student long-awaited assistance

The latest recommendation from Worcester Public Schools for “Gino” Berthiaume proposes that he attend the dormitory program at the Marie Jean Philip Elementary School at The Learning Center for Deaf Children in Framingham. More than a year in the making, this outcome did not materialize easily for Gino and his mom, Kelly Rawson, never mind WPS. Patrick Sargent reports on how we got here.

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Editorial: Superintendent Binienda

The School Committee Monday night chose South High Principal Maureen Binienda to be the new superintendent of Worcester Public Schools. With one dissenting opinion, the 29-minute meeting ended with the selection of “the person uniquely able and qualified to unite the community.”

Gary Rosen

Up Next: To save money, Rosen proposes city do its schools’ work

District 5 Councilor Gary Rosen will ask City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. to explore the feasibility of city administration absorbing several financial and administrative responsibilities of Worcester Public Schools, to help address a potential $5 million shortfall in next year’s school budget.

School safety audit highlights schism between priorities and decisions

“To say that we’re going to put a million dollars of new funding into school safety, when school safety has recently been cut, is very worrisome [as far as] how we are going to fulfill the recommendations of the audit.” Which top Worcester schools official said that? And how do administrators and school board members plan to reconcile the more than $5 million overall in initial suggested safety improvements?