In one of the most Brockton headlines of all time, the School Committee just realized there is $14 million missing from the school budget, the Superintendent (who is also the principal of Brockton High School for some reason) suddenly announced he’s on medical leave, no one has been arrested or even fired, and school starts on Wednesday.
Mayor Robert Sullivan and multiple school committee members held a closed-door meeting at Brockton High School, with dozens of concerned residents waiting outside. https://t.co/PUAMuJgBCM
— Boston 25 News (@boston25) September 1, 2023
We’ve had a plethora of people message about this story, telling us that the FBI is involved, that the central district headquarters were raided, and a variety of other unconfirmed anecdotes. It would seem that the best thing the Mayor and School Committee could do would be as transparent as possible to parents, considering the rampant rumors that are being spread.
But this is Brockton, and the School Committee decided to hold a closed door executive session instead, and explained absolutely nothing.
The Brockton School Committee will meet in an emergency session Friday afternoon to “appoint new leadership” for the school department after officials learned of a “$14 million deficit,” a visibly upset Mayor Robert Sullivan announced after a four-hour marathon closed-door School Committee meeting Thursday night.
“As mayor and a BPS alum and parent of a student in the BPS system, I’m extremely dismayed, collectively we are all dismayed, by the situation, and we are committed to ensure that we will rectify the situation, appoint new leadership and move forward with our strategy, our concise strategy, to delivery the best schools for our teachers, our staff, our students and, our course, our guardians,” Sullivan, flanked by the entire School Committee, said during the press conference outside Brockton High School Thursday night.
Sullivan, who serves as an ex officio member of the School Committee, said that Superintendent Michael Thomas informed the committee he would “be out on an extended medical leave” and he did not attend Thursday night’s closed-door meeting.
Sullivan did not take any questions and did not explain what he meant by the $14 million deficit that was “recently brought to the attention of the Brockton School Committee.”
Superintendent Mike Thomas made $271,132 last year. They apparently had to lay off over 100 teachers after having an $18 million shortfall, and now another $14 million is just missing. Ya got that? They just lost $14 million. And the guy who’s ultimately responsible for it is just gone, and the people who hired him (the School Committee) aren’t saying anything about it.
I don’t know much about Mike Thomas, but he appears to be the ultimate Brockton jock, and not the kind of guy I would want in charge of that much money. He was a gym teacher before getting into administration, and he has the towniest Brockton accent, which apparently qualifies him to run the 5th largest school district in Massachusetts.
I have no idea what’s going on here, but I’m pretty sure this guy isn’t taking “medical leave” because he’s actually sick.
Not much really surprises me out of Brockton though. After all, this a city where Tony Branch – a man who sued me and lost because he was accused of raping a 15 year old girl he would later marry and divorce, and a judge deemed these allegations to be “substantially true,” – serves on the City’s Diversity Commission. He also has had multiple orders taken out on him by women, had substantial amounts of credit card judgments and unpaid taxes, violated an abuse prevention order, defrauded the government to get Section 8 and DCF benefits, and claims to be a Bishop despite using a Muslim name.
Despite being banned from the Southeastern Regional High School graduation after parents refused to let their children shake his hand, he was easily re-elected thanks to the voters of Brockton.
This is a lesson in democracy. In no other city would someone like Tony Branch still be allowed to show his face in public. But he’s running for City Council and has the support of the Brockton NAACP (national association of active child predators), which he serves as Vice President of, and the Mayor and City Council chooses to keep him on the Diversity Commission. So this is the democracy you get. The same people who voted for Tony Branch also elected the School Committee and Mayor, who appointed a Superintendent who is now MIA after $14 million went missing. When you elect people who are not transparent, or are credibly accused of having sex with 15 year old girls, don’t be surprised when $14 million goes missing a couple days before schools start and your elected leaders have no answers for you.