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Two for school board: DiPietro, Thomas earn endorsements

EDITORIAL
September 13. 2017 11:55PM


If Manchester voters want anything to change in the city’s schools, they are going to have to make it happen at the ballot box.

All 14 members of the Board of School Committee are running for reelection. Only two face primaries on Tuesday, Sept. 19.

In Ward 6, Jon DiPietro would be a welcome improvement over incumbent Dan Bergeron. Ernesto Pinder is also on the ballot.

DiPietro and his wife are raising four daughters, who have already combined to spend 30 years in Manchester’s public schools.

He wants to raise Manchester’s academic standards in order to improve the reputation of the city’s schools. He advocates bringing special education services in-house to cut costs, arguing that creating a magnet program could also increase tuition revenues.

In order to address overcrowded elementary schools, and half-empty high schools, the school board has to finally take on the touchy topic of redistricting. Climbing that mountain is overdue, and would not only reduce class sizes, but help keep the school district budget within the tax cap. DiPietro has the political will to tackle this challenge.

In Ward 12, we face a tough choice. Incumbent Connie Van Houten is horrible, but voters have two better alternatives. Carlos Gonzalez is well known and a solid candidate, but our endorsement goes to political newcomer Kelley Ann Thomas.

Paralyzed from the waist down at the age of 17, Thomas is raising two young children and working as an addiction recovery counselor.

Thomas is already an inspiration and a role model. She would be a fine addition to the school board.


Education Local and County Government Local Editorial Manchester