Welcome! Login | Register
 

The Strategies to Win the White House in 2020 – The Sunday Political Brunch March 24, 2019—The Strategies to Win the White House in…

Robert Kraft Issues Statement on Prostitution Charges—Robert Kraft Issues Statement on Prostitution Charges

Monfredo: Support the 14th Annual Book Drive for Children - Reaching for 700,000 Books—Monfredo: Support the 14th Annual Book Drive for…

VIDEO: Pitcher Chris Sale Signs Contract Extension With the Red Sox—VIDEO: Pitcher Chris Sale Signs Contract Extension With…

Auburn Chamber to Host 12th Annual Health & Business Expo—Auburn Chamber to Host 12th Annual Health &…

Massachusetts Adds 6,600 Jobs in February—Massachusetts Adds 6,600 Jobs in February

Fit for Life: Some Things Money Can’t Buy—Fit for Life: Some Things Money Can’t Buy

Mueller Report Delivered to United States Attorney General Barr—Mueller Report Delivered to United States Attorney General…

10 Great Things to do in Worcester This Weekend - March 22, 2019—10 Great Things to do in Worcester This…

Finneran: Truisms—Finneran: Truisms

 
 

Monfredo: Needed - Advocates to Move the Foundation Budget Forward

Sunday, February 12, 2017

 

As an educator and now as a school committee member this time of the year is not my favorite.  Why, because it’s BUDGET time and it’s a time when we realize that education continues to get the short end of the stick!  I remember being part of a rally for education in Worcester back in 2007.  At that time we had just experienced five years of budget cuts …

  • WE  HAD TO DISRUPT THE LIVES OF OUR CHILDREN BY CLOSING 8 SCHOOLS
  • WE  CUT 576 POSITIONS – PEOPLE WHO SERVED OUR CHILDREN
  • STATE GRANTS Had BEEN CUT BY $12 MILLION DOLLARS
  • CUTS IN OUR ARTS PROGRAMS, CUTS TO SCHOOL LIBRARIANS, CUTS TO OUR SCHOOL LIAISON TEAM ( THE SCHOOL LIASON TEAM WAS A STRONG LINK TO OUR PARENT INVOLVEMENT  PROGRAM FOR INNER-CITY CHILDREN)
  • CUTS TO SCHOOL SUPPLIES
  • CUTS IN PREVENTIVE PROGRAMS AND  IN PERSONAL SUCH AS TUTORS, ADJUSTMENT COUNSELORS AND   PRE-SCHOOL PROGRAMS
  • CUTS TO STAFF DEVELOPMENT TRAINING

 

Many of those cuts have never come back in future budget.  For the sake of our children we need to have funding that is adequate, equitable and predictable.  At the present time our chapter 70 funding is inadequate, inequitable and very unpredictable.     

The budget all starts at the state level for if the state does not make education a high priority there goes the budget for Worcester. 

 According to the Mass. Budget and Policy Center, if you look at the present chapter 70 funding and factor in inflation, we still remain well below the amount in the 02 funding. 

The good news has been that our legislators did address the Foundation Budget, Chapter 70. A Foundation Commission led by Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz and Representative Alice Peisch led the commission whose mission was to determine the educational programs and services necessary to achieve the commonwealth’s educational goals and to review the way foundation budgets are calculated.  Their job was to make recommendations for potential changes in those calculations as the commission deems appropriate. In their research “The Commission” found the Foundation Budget to be woefully underfunded and has made several recommendations.  

Needless to say the Commission did an outstanding job BUT our legislators have not implemented changes. 

Last year, Brian Allen, the Worcester Public Schools chief financial officer, pointed out to the Local Legislative delegation that based on findings by the “ Foundation Budget Commission ” the budget is underfunded in the current foundation budget formula.  Areas of concern are health insurance, special education and the skipped inflation adjustment in 2010. This information was addressed in a GoLocal story by me last month. 

 I did state then and again now that obviously the full package cannot be funded in one year but there has to be a starting point for the legislators to move the needle.  Why not what do was done from 1994 to 2000 when the original Foundation budget was created?   Phase the funding over seven years and this would have less of an impact on the State budget.  Since then the school committee did have another meeting with our local delegation and it is our hope that some changes will take place.  Although I have to say that no one stepped up to say that they would lead the charge.

I discussed the budget issue with Mr. Allen who stated that it is important that the state budget fully fund both charter school reimbursement and special education circuit breaker funding. Worcester is underfunded by approximately $1 million in these two areas this year and these line items are level-funded next year, so it appears that these are underfunded again in FY18.   He estimated that an increase of $50 million in charter school reimbursement and $20 million in the SPED circuit breaker in the state budget would be needed to be fully funded.  As for Worcester, the schools are facing a $21 million gap between what the schools will spend and what the needs will be as a result of continuous underfunding by the state. 

One bill being circulated in the state is by Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz, the same Senator who co-chaired the Foundation Commission.  Her bill is to move the foundation review commission recommendations forward.   Senator Chang-Diaz believes that the current climate is more favorable to moving the funding proposal forward in hopes of closing the achievement gap.

Now we as citizens of this commonwealth have a choice to be advocates for educational change or sit on the sidelines.  Remember people power has made and will continue to make a difference in our government.  The non-voters, our children, deserve our support.  PLEASE call or email your Senator and State Representative to tell them to move forward on the Foundation Budget.  

Senator Chandler – 617 -722-1544 or [email protected]

 Senator Moore – 617- 722-1485 or  [email protected]

State Representative Mahoney – 617 -722-2460 or [email protected]

Mary Keefe – 617 722-2210 or  [email protected]gov

Jim O’Day – 617 -722 -2090 or James.O'[email protected]

Dan Donahue – 617 – 722-2006 or [email protected]

Kate Campanale – 617 – 722-2488 or  [email protected]

Kimberly Ferguson – 617 – 722- 2263 or   [email protected]

Let me end by remembering what our former U.S. Senator Paul Tsongus stated back in 1989 in a visit to Worcester, “Nothing is more important to the development of a vital downtown and the economy than the quality of education of the public education system.”

May I remind everyone that quality education is an investment in our community and failure to educate is the real expense. Let’s move forward with the Foundation Budget, now!

 

Related Slideshow: Central MA’s Top High Schools 2015

Prev Next

#100 Nipmuc Regional High

Upton, MA

2014 Rank: #134

Enrolment: 627

Mascot: Warrior

Claim to Fame: Aerosmith played its first gig at Nipmuc Regional high on November 6, 1970.

2015 performance at a glance

Graduation rate: 96.2% (+0.7%)

District spending per pupil: $11,900

Student-teacher ratio: 13:1

Prev Next

#95 North Central Charter Essential

Fitchburg, MA

2014 Rank: #197

Enrolment: 217

Mascot: N/A

Claim to Fame: Students from over 30 cities and towns in central Massachusetts are eligible to enroll at North Central Charter Essential. 

2015 performance at a glance

Graduation rate: 78% (-8.3%)

District spending per pupil: $13,569

Student-teacher ratio: 9.4:1

Prev Next

#90 Shrewbury Senior High

Shrewsbury, MA

2014 Rank: #117

Enrolment: 1,684

Mascot: Colonial

Claim to Fame: Famous alumni include Shawn Loiseau, who played linebacker in the NFL. 

2015 performance at a glance

Graduation rate: 94.9% (+0.2%)

District spending per pupil: $11,612

Student-teacher ratio: 14.8:1

Prev Next

#87 Lunenburg High School

Lunenburg, MA

2014 Rank: #104

Enrollment: 427

Mascot: Blue Knights

Claim to Fame: Gordon Edes, a sportswriter for The Boston Globe, is a member of the class of 1972.

2015 performance at a glance

Graduation rate: 98.2% (+1.4%)

District spending per pupil: $12,027

Student-teacher ratio: 12.4:1

Prev Next

#73 Tahanto Regional High

Boylston, MA

2014 Rank: #80

Enrollment: 297

Mascot: Stags

Claim to Fame: Students, teachers, and faculty now enjoy a $32.2M building that opened in 2013.

2015 performance at a glance

Graduation rate: 94.2% (+7.3%)

District spending per pupil: $11,644

Student-teacher ratio: 12:1

Prev Next

#63 Tantasqua Regional High School

Fiskdale, MA

2014 Rank: #63

Enrollment: 770

Mascot: Warrior

Claim to Fame: Famous alumni include Joel Crouse (Country Singer) and James Lynch (Guitarist for the Dropkick Murphys).

2015 performance at a glance

Graduation rate: 91.7% (-3.2%)

District spending per pupil: $12,403

Student-teacher ratio: 9.6:1

Prev Next

#51 Algonquin Regional High

Northborough, MA

2014 Rank: #33

Enrollment: 1,452

Mascot: The Tomahawk (T-Hawk)

Claim to Fame: Famous alumni include Mark "The Bird" Fidrych (former MLB pitcher), Ryan Gallant (professional skateboarder), Nathaniel Raymond (human rights investigator and anti-torture advocate), and Mike Sherman (former head coach of the Green Bay Packers), and current offensive coordinator of the Miami Dolphins). 

2015 performance at a glance

Graduation rate: 97.1% (-0.4%)

District spending per pupil: $12,929

Student-teacher ratio: 13.7:1

Prev Next

#45 Nashoba Regional

Bolton, MA

2014 Rank: #76

Enrollment: 1,075

Mascot: Chieftain

Claim to Fame: Famous alumni include Hal Gill (National Hockey League player with the Nashville Predators), Koren Zailckas (Author of bestselling book Smashed), and Clive Weeden (Professional basketball player).

2015 performance at a glance

Graduation rate: 95.3% (+0.2%)

District spending per pupil: $13,107

Student-teacher ratio: 14.2:1

Prev Next

#40 Hopkinton High

Hopkinton, MA

2014 Rank: # 53

Enrollment: 1,122

Mascot: Hillers

Claim to Fame: Famous alumni include Keegan Bradley (Professional Golfer).

2015 performance at a glance

Graduation rate: 99% (-0.2%)

District spending per pupil: $13,005

Student-teacher ratio: 13.9:1

Prev Next

#26 Westborough High

Westborough, MA

2014 Rank: #26

Enrollment: 1,045

Mascot: The Ranger

Claim to Fame: Westborough High offers a wide variety of curricular and extracurricular musical ensembles. 

2015 performance at a glance

Graduation rate: 97.1% (+0.5%)

District spending per pupil: $14,306

Student-teacher ratio: 12.7:1

Prev Next

#14 Bromfield School

Harvard, MA

2014 Rank: #13

Enrollment: 414

Mascot: Trojan

Claim to Fame: Famous alumni include Keir O'Donnell (Starred in the popular comedy movie the Wedding Crashers) and Lynn Jennings (In 1992 she became the first American woman to win an Olympic medal in long-distance track). 

2015 performance at a glance

Graduation rate: 97.1% (-1.2%)

District spending per pupil: $14,691

Student-teacher ratio: 12.9:1

Prev Next

#8 MA Academy for Math and Science

Worcester, MA

2014 Rank: #285

Enrollment: 97

Mascot: Gompei the Goat

Claim to Fame: Seniors at MA Academy for Math and Science take a full-time course load at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. 

2015 performance at a glance

Graduation rate:100% (0%)

District spending per pupil: $13,466

Student-teacher ratio: 13.1:1

Prev Next

#5 Advanced Math and Science Academy

Charter School

Marlborough, MA

2014 Rank: #6

Enrollment: 569

Mascot: War Eagle

Claim to Fame: Advanced Math and Science Academy offers more than ten computer science classes to students: ranging from Game Design to Intro to Java/Networking. 

2015 performance at a glance

Graduation rate: 99% (+0.4%)

District spending per pupil: $14,723

Student-teacher ratio: 12.3:1

 
 

Related Articles

 

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

 

X

Stay Connected — Free
Daily Email