The new East Boston High School education program that came under attack by the state’s Republican Party will be up and running very soon according to Headmaster Phil Brangiforte.
“We are excited to have this new and innovative program up here at the High School and we are meeting with its organizers to begin the process of implementing it here at East Boston High,” said Brangiforte.
Brangiforte said he will be meeting with National Youth Development Council Director Richard Smith this week and the program should be up and running in the next month or so.
The program, was a Petruccelli’s earmark in the state’s budget that will direct funds towards the creation of a job readiness program at EBHS, and was called out by the state’s GOP in an attempt to highlight partisan politics during the budget process.
This program, known as the National Youth Development Council, will train students at EBHS for careers in entertainment technology and high technology with the goal of providing students with the skills necessary to qualify them for entry level jobs and internships.
However, that attack backfired and both Democrat State Senator Petruccelli and Republican State Senator Bruce Tarr both supported the project giving it bi-partisan support.
The MassGOP’s Chairman Kirsten Hughes called on Petruccelli to explain the earmark and said, “This shady earmark is just another example of Democrats on Beacon Hill wasting taxpayer dollars with no accountability. It’s not surprising that Governor Baker’s fiscally responsible leadership was needed to expose the sketchy details about this pet project. Senator Petruccelli needs to explain this shady earmark, which he’s been unable to do thus far.”
The earmark was never vetoed by Governor Charlie Baker and was in fact approved by Baker and his administration during the budget process. The line item was an example of bi-partisan work not the work of a ‘shady’ rogue democrat looking to overrule the Republican Governor’s vetoes.
Tarr, the Senate’s Minority Leader and friend and colleague of Petruccelli, said he was the one that introduced Smith to Petruccelli. Tarr explained that Smith had, what he felt, was a worthwhile program that could benefit students but needed a foothold into Boston. Tarr then introduced Smith to Petruccelli. Petruccelli liked Smith’s ideas and program so much he agreed to sponsor an amendment to launch the program at East Boston High.
“It’s unfortunate there was some misunderstanding about this issue from the state GOP,” said Tarr after the attack on the program from the GOP. “I believed then and I believe now in this program’s potential to connect students to career opportunities.”
Tarr said he is always looking for new and innovative ways to motivate and empower students and help them move forward with particular careers. This program seemed destined to accomplish that and felt Petruccelli’s district could benefit.
“Anthony (Petruccelli) has a specific interest in East Boston and we both have a more general interest in creating opportunity for young people,” said Tarr. “We deferred to him for the amendment. I was an early supporter of it and continue to be a supporter because it is a unique approach for creating more job opportunity and economic independence for our young people.”
In a statement to the East Boston Times, Petruccelli said he was happy to see this worthwhile program not only recieve state funding but get the support of both Democrats and Republicans in the State House.
“I can’t wait to see its success at the High School,” he said.