NORTH ANDOVER - In a rare move, all five members of the North Andover School Committee have stated that they are supporting Barbara L'Italien in her race for State Representative.
"Residents in North Andover demand a public school system that delivers the best for our children," said Brian Gross. "We need Representatives at the State House who understand North Andover's needs and are willing to work together with local officials to move our schools and town forward."
Gross was joined by School Committee members Chris Allen, Stan Limpert, Laurie Burzlaff and Andrew McDevit in voicing support for L'Italien.
"I feel as though we haven't had any Statehouse representation for our town for the last two years," said Limpert. "Barbara was always a strong and visible supporter for education as a legislator, especially special education."
"So much of what we do depends on state support," said McDevitt. "North Andover needs partners in Boston who are committed to the Merrimack Valley."
Allen noted that L'Italien was multi-dimensional in her approach to improving schools.
"Barbara offered a thoughtful approach to governing," explained Allen. "She authored the state law that expands health insurance to cover Autism. With a large chunk of our school budget devoted to special education, Barbara's law gives many of our students the support outside of school that will make the delivery of in-school instruction more efficient."
Burzlaff, who Chairs the committee and announced support of L'Italien earlier this month, reiterated her desire to see increased communication with legislators.
"We need legislators who care about what happens on the local level," said Burzlaff. "I hope voters see the benefit of having a legislator who cares about what happens locally."
L'Italien welcomed the support.
"It means so much to have all five School Committee members place this much faith in me" said L'Italien. "I've enjoyed the working relationship we've had in improving North Andover schools, and I look forward to the opportunity of working with them once again."
In addition to expressing support for L'Italien, Allen voiced concern about incumbent Jim Lyons' (R-Andover) agenda.
"I'm concerned by Mr. Lyons claims of supporting local aid when he has shown almost no interest in our local schools," explained Allen. "When he has shown an interest, it has been with legislation that either scales back health education classes, or puts up bureaucratic obstacles to services for students in need. In the long run, these initiatives end up costing us more.”