Holyoke Public Schools’ future remains uncertain

State review released but no decision yet on receivership status

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – The state already controls one public school in Holyoke. The Superintendent said he just needs a little more time to prove that the district does not need state receivership to improve.

Holyoke Superintedent Dr. Sergio Paez told 22News, “I believe that my changes are faster, more effective, more dynamic, more doable than the ones at Morgan at this point.”

With one school already under state control, Dr. Paez is fighting to keep control over the rest of the school district. He said “I am convinced right now that having someone come in and do something for Holyoke or any other district is counter productive.”

Last month the State Education Department sent a team to review the Holyoke district. Their findings, released Tuesday, acknowledge some positive changes, implemented 18 months ago, but the state wants to see bigger improvements fast.

22News also spoke with Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse. He said the School Committee’s budget allocates about $16,000 per student. The district has 5,500 students attending 11 public schools. Other districts of similar size spend only about $12,000 per student.

Mayor Morse said, “Yeah, I don’t think this is a problem of resources. Of course more resources could help add additional programs where needed, but again, I think our question should be what programs are working, and are we investing in those. What programs aren’t working and do we need to stop investing.”

It’s unclear when state officials will decide on Holyoke’s potential receivership. Dr. Paez said state officials will be at next Monday’s Holyoke School Committee meeting to answer more questions.

Holyoke District Review Report 

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