Education commissioner recommends receivership for Southbridge schools

Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester is recommending that the Southbridge Public Schools be placed into state receivership.

The commissioner will ask the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to declare the district “chronically underperforming,” giving him broad powers to run the schools.

The board will hold a public hearing from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 25, in the Cole Avenue Auditorium, 25 Cole Ave., Southbridge.

Parents, educators and residents will have an opportunity to address the board regarding the recommendation, or they can send written testimony by email to boe@doe.mass.edu.

The BESE likely will vote on the recommendation at one of its next two meetings. They are scheduled for Jan. 26 and Feb. 23.

The Southbridge Education Association and the MTA are working to ensure that educators in the district will have a strong voice in whatever plans emerge – and that members’ rights are respected in the process.