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West Side story: No facts, just money out the door

January 12. 2013 11:42PM

It was last November when frustrated Manchester School Board member Arthur Beaudry told the Union Leader that the board is "so far in the dark on this it's unbelievable."

"This" is the ongoing matter of suspended Manchester High School West Principal MaryEllen McGorry, her secretary, the cost of their replacements, and the further cost, now closing in on $50,000, of an outside law firm to investigate whatever it is that caused the matter.

This has been going on since School Superintendent Thomas Brennan suspended the pair (with pay) in September.

For all that time, the school board, the teachers, the students, the parents and the taxpayers have been kept in the dark.

The only thing they have learned, because the Union Leader has been able to obtain it, is the ongoing cost to the city.

Not only the $250 an hour going to outside lawyers, but the annual $103,700 salary being paid the absent McGorry and the $27.80 per hour paid leave for her secretary.

Board member Beaudry said last year that board members "should have been notified of what the allegations are."

Yes, and we wrote that the board should demand the facts and share them with the public.

"McGorry has a right to be treated fairly," we wrote. "She is herself a practiced attorney and that may be part of the reason why Brennan is treading so carefully. But facts are facts, and the school board and the public have a right to know the facts as to the general nature of the case against McGorry that has caused her to be on paid suspension for almost two months."

And two months more have gone by since then.

The school board, many of whose members are demanding more power, looks and is weak and pathetic on this matter.

They have the ability to stop allowing it to be hidden behind legal jargon, and they need to do it.

Among other things, some board members and the outgoing school super want their own taxing district. Imagine how much money they could spend on lawyers then.

Education Politics Editorial Manchester

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