Thursday, March 28, 2013
Committee members feel settlement distribution falls short.
The Tewksbury School District will receive an initial payment as part of the multi-million dollar settlement borne from the Merrimack Special Education Collaborative scandal of two years ago. But members of the administration and the School Committee are not pleased with the amount of that payment. MSEC received $7.2 million from the Merrimack Education Center to satisfy several years of overcharging for services during a time when former Executive Director John Barranco was running both the non-profit collaborative and the for-profit enterprise in a fiscally incestuous manner. After paying its bills, MSEC was left with about $4 million. Earlier this year, the group's Board of Directors voted to distribute $1 million back to the nine …
Friday, January 27, 2012
Bill sparked by fiscal abuses at Merrimack Special Education Collaborative.
Friday, January 27, 2012
(Editor's note: The following was submitted jointly by the offices of state Sen. Barry R. Finegold, D-2nd Essex & Middlesex District and state Sen. James R. Miceli, D-19th Middlesex District.) By State Sen. Barry Finegold and State Rep. Jim Miceli This month, the Senate and House of Representatives passed legislation that significantly increases oversight of special education collaboratives and includes measures that will significantly benefit students, sending school districts and the taxpayers of Massachusetts. This bill works towards restoring the trust that was lost after gross indiscretions were committed at Merrimack Special Education Collaborative (MSEC), and we are proud to support increased oversight, transparency and …
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Local officials met with the Legislative delegation to discuss the fallout from the MSEC scandal and possibility of retrieving money for Tewksbury.
Town and School Department officials met with the Tewksbury Legislative delegation to discuss the fallout from the MSEC Scandal. There are hopes that the rate being charged Tewksbury for each of the 30 students being serviced by the collaborative can be adjusted. There is also hope that past overcharges can be retrived. Editor Bill Gilman attended the meeting and filed this report.
Friday, September 23, 2011
Former director had been on administrative leave from $500,000-a-year job as a result of state investigation.
Thursday, September 15, 2011
Superintendent of Schools wants Merrimack Special Education Collaborative to prove it hasn't overcharged towns for services. Town may seek financial settlement.
Tewksbury Superintendent of Schools Dr. John O'Connor has asked the board of directors of the embattled Merrimack Special Education Collaborative (MSEC) to provide a detailed analysis of the fees it has charged the Town of Tewksbury for the past five years, and to prove that those fees were fair and accurate. In light of charges brought by the state auditor's office claiming the collaborative's former director, John Barranco, may have misspent millions of dollars in taxpayer money, O'Connor wants the colaborative to open up its books to its clients, one of which is the Town of Tewksbury. Tewksbury's school department will spend close to $2 million paying MSEC and its partner company, the Merrimack Education Center (MEC) to provide special …
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Mass. Dept. of Education's Mid-Cycle Report is critical of town's special education performance
The rocky road continued for the Tewksbury School District's Special Education Department Wednesday night, as Superintendent of Schools Dr. John O'Connor informed the School Committee that the department received poor grades from the state after an on-site review of its practices and procedures was conducted earlier this year. O'Connor distributed a letter his office received from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (MDESE) dated Aug. 11 that requested "written assurance" that corrective actions will be taken in light of a sub-standard performance evaluation by the state in its Mid-Cycle Report that was based on an on-site visit conducted last February. The report found that Tewksbury's Special Education …
Monday, August 22, 2011
In spite of allegations against Middlesex Special Education Collaborative, Tewksbury school department has no plans to seek services elsewhere.
Perhaps more than anyone else in the Merrimack Valley, Tewksbury superintendent of Schools Dr. John O'Connor understands that there are problems with the Merrimack Special Education Collaborative (MSEC) that need to be addressed. O'Connor, after all, was one of nearly a dozen area superintendents who were erroneously named as recipients of payments from the embattled special ed services provider earlier this month. Former MSEC Director John Barranco has been accused by state and federal agencies of misspending over $10 million in public funds while running the collaborative and its partner agency, the Merrimack Education Center, over the past decade. Barranco is alleged to have paid exorbitant salaries to himself and friends, and to have …