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Least-Qualified, Politically-Connected Candidate Chosen as Lawrence’s Next Superintendent

Joint statement from AFT Massachusetts President Jessica Tang and Lawrence Teachers’ Union Local 1019 President Kimberly Barry in response to Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Acting Commissioner Russell D. Johnston’s choice for the next superintendent of Lawrence:

JT KB May 31 2024

“We are extremely disappointed with Acting Commissioner Johnston’s decision to allow a political ally of the Mayor to serve as the next Superintendent of Lawrence over three highly qualified candidates who have the skills, experience, and community ties necessary for this critical role. 

“Lawrence deserves a superintendent who is ready to take our children and schools to new heights and has the proven ability to work collaboratively with educators at this critical time in the city’s schools. Sadly, that’s not what they’re getting.

“The Lawrence Alliance for Education and Acting Commissioner Johnston have completely ignored months of work by the search committee, a community process that included valuable input from families and residents, in-depth  candidate surveys, and feedback from professional educators, administrators, and staff. 

“Instead of providing our students, educators, and schools with the most qualified candidate, they’re taking Lawrence back to the bad old days when political connections were the most important qualification at City Hall and the School Department.”

“Regardless of this decision, Lawrence educators will continue to work with community stakeholders to ensure students and families receive the education and support they need and deserve.”

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