Lowell Public Schools elections (2013)
|General Election date:|
Method of election
What was at stake?
Lowell Public Schools
Middlesex County, Massachusetts ballot measures
Local ballot measures, Massachusetts
Six seats on the School Committee for Lowell Public Schools were up for general election on November 5, 2013. Incumbents David J. Conway, James D. Leary, Connie A. Martin, Kristin Ross-Sitcawich, Kimberly A. Scott and newcomer Steven Gendron defeated incumbent Robert J. Gignac to win the six at-large seats.
About the district
- See also: Lowell Public Schools, Massachusetts
Middlesex County outperformed the rest of Massachusetts in terms of its poverty rate, median rates of average household income and higher education achievement in 2011. The poverty rate in Middlesex County was 7.7% compared to 10.7% for the entire state. The median household income in Middlesex County was $79,691 compared to $65,981 for the state of Massachusetts. The US Census also found that 49.8% of Middlesex County residents aged 25 years and older attained a bachelor's degree compared to 38.7% in Massachusetts.
Note: The United States Census Bureau considers "Hispanic or Latino" to be a place of origin, not a race. Therefore, the Census allows citizens to report both their race and that they are from a "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin simultaneously. As a result, the percentages in each column of the racial demographics table will exceed 100.0%. Each column will add up to 100.0% after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin percentages.
Method of board member selection
The Lowell School Committee consists of seven members, six of whom are elected to two-year terms. The seventh member and Chair of the board is Lowell's mayor. The other six members of the board are elected at-large by the district as a whole. There was no primary election for the school board election and the general election was held on November 5, 2013. All six at-large seats were on the ballot in 2013.
Individuals interested in running for the board began circulating nominating petitions on June 3, 2013. The filing deadline for the 2013 general election was August 6 and candidates had until August 22 to officially withdraw from the ballot. Each candidate had to file a notarized candidate affidavit and nomination petitions with at least 50 valid signatures to the board secretary.
|Lowell Public Schools, At-large General Election, 2-year term, 2013|
|Nonpartisan||James D. Leary Incumbent||15.9%||6,418|
|Nonpartisan||David J. Conway Incumbent||15.8%||6,366|
|Nonpartisan||Connie A. Martin Incumbent||13.7%||5,518|
|Nonpartisan||Kimberly A. Scott Incumbent||13.4%||5,385|
|Nonpartisan||Kristin Ross-Sitawich Incumbent||13.1%||5,262|
|Nonpartisan||Robert J. Gignac Incumbent||12.1%||4,881|
|Source: The City of Lowell, "2013 Municipal Election Results (*Official*)," accessed December 18, 2013|
Candidates received a total of $36,295.80 and spent a total of $22,642.31 during the election, according to the Lowell Election and Census Office.
|Candidate||Contributions||Expenditures||Cash on hand|
|David J. Conway||$9,481.00||$7,329.76||$3,843.70|
|Robert J. Gignac||$5,305.80||$3,145.70||$2,262.07|
|James D. Leary||$4,083.00||$4,325.00||-$3,186.00|
|Connie A. Martin||$3,600.00||$0.00||$4,334.21|
|Kimberly A. Scott||$880.00||$1,252.06||-$1,232.31|
Information about earlier elections can be found by clicking [show] at the right.
What was at stake?
There were six seats on the school board up for election on November 5, 2013. Incumbents David J. Conway, Robert J. Gignac, James D. Leary, Connie A. Martin, Kristin Ross-Sitcawich and Kimberly A. Scott sought re-election to the board. They faced a single challenger, Steven Gendron. Gendron ended up coming in second place, with Gignac losing his spot on the board.
In 2012, former Massachusetts Commissioner of Education Mitchell D. Chester recommended that the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education approve a new charter school in Lowell, which the board proceeded to do with a 6-3 vote. The approval of the Lowell Collegiate Charter School brought criticism from Paul Georges, President of the United Teachers of Lowell, who labeled the decision, "unfortunate." Following the decision, the Massachusetts chapter of the American Federation of Teachers published an article claiming that the charter school "threatens progress" in Lowell. A representative of SABIS Educational Systems, Inc., which will operate the charter school, defended the new school, stating, "We realized the district wasn’t offering the quality programs that parents want, as evident by testing data. We thought we could make a difference in the community by keeping families from moving, be a part of the solution to stabilize the community, and give it the competitive edge that it needs."
The following dates were key deadlines for the Lowell Public Schools election in 2013:
|June 3, 2013||First day for filing nominating petitions|
|August 6, 2013||Last day to file nominating petitions|
|August 22, 2013||Last day to withdraw from ballot|
|October 16, 2013||Last day to register to vote in the city general election|
|October 28, 2013||Last day for candidates and PACs to file campaign finance reports|
|November 5, 2013||Election day|
Additional elections on the ballot
This election only shared the ballot with other municipal and school board elections. Lowell's Mayor and School Committee Chair, Patrick O. Murphy, was not up for election this year. No additional measures appeared on the ballot.
- School board elections review: Voters opt for experience over new blood in nation's largest school districts
- School board election wrap-up: Incumbents re-elected overwhelmingly in November 5 elections
- Lowell Public Schools, Massachusetts
- List of school board elections in 2013
- Middlesex County, Massachusetts ballot measures
- Local ballot measures, Massachusetts
- United States Census Bureau, "Middlesex County, Massachusetts," accessed September 10, 2013
- Massachusetts Secretary of State, “Enrollment Breakdown as of 2/15/2012,” accessed September 10, 2013
- United States Census Bureau, "Frequently Asked Questions," accessed April 21, 2014
- Lowell Public Schools, "Section B: Board Governance and Operations," accessed September 16, 2013
- The City of Lowell, "2013 City Election Dates to Keep in Mind," accessed September 16, 2013
- Lowell Sun, "On board with Gendron on School Committee," October 29, 2013
- The City of Lowell, "Campaign Finance Reports - 2013," accessed December 23, 2013
- Come to Lowell, "Lowell Election Central," accessed September 16, 2013
- The Boston Globe, "Mass. education chief recommends 4 charter schools," February 16, 2012
- Katheleen Conti, The Boston Globe, "Charter firm moves ahead with school," March 8, 2012
- American Federation of Teachers - Massachusetts, "For-Profit Charter Threatens Progress in Lowell," February, 2012