Holyoke's Acting Mayor Hopes Federal Money Could Help End State Control Of Schools

Apr 16, 2021

The new acting mayor of Holyoke, Massachusetts, said he hopes an infusion of federal cash could help the city's schools return to local control.

In 2015, the Holyoke schools were taken over by the state because of chronic underperformance. A receiver/superintendent was put in charge.

Under the federal stimulus plan recently signed into law last month, the city would get $42 million for its schools.

Acting Mayor Terry Murphy, who took office on Tuesday, said the money could help improve student performance and make it clear Holyoke can manage its own schools.

"Maybe in a year or two, the state says, 'You make the decisions, Holyoke. You decide what you're going to do because you've done things that have made a difference and we want you to continue to do those things,'" Murphy said during a press conference with U.S. Rep. Richard Neal.

Murphy said he would like to see student-teacher ratios lowered and enrichment activities like art and music increased.

Besides the money for the schools, the city of Holyoke is eligible for an additional $32 million in federal stimulus money.