Novick Reports: Ways and Means Education Hearing

Today I attended the Ways and Means hearing on education at Everett High School (View the blow-by-blow coverage on my liveblog, or find MASC’s testimony (which was submitted in writing) here).

The short version is that the Governor’s budget is not particularly popular, and in very parallel ways. The committee received testimony from the Commissioners of Early Ed, K-12, Higher Ed and Secretary Peyser together, then testimony from UMass President Meehan; after a break for lunch, they heard testimony from the Mass Association of School Superintendents, the Mass Teachers Association, the Mass Municipal Association, and Ed Moscovitch (during MASC’s time; for those who don’t know him, Moscovitch is something of the godfather of the Foundation Budget).

The most often expressed concern was regarding the low income change (from free and reduced lunch count to economically disadvantaged). The questions to the Commissioners and Secretary began there. The superintendents of Chelsea, Revere, and Brockton spoke for MASS and particularly hammered this home, due to the loss those communities would experience under the Governor’s budget. Ed Moscovitch’s testimony dealt with this as well. There were also a number of questions and concerns expressed around the lack of action on the Foundation Budget Review Commission findings more broadly, particularly from the Mass Municipal Association and the MTA. There also was some attention paid to early childhood, nicely encapsulated by Rep. Decker’s asking what it would have meant if we’d spent 70% of the time and energy these past years on early childhood that we’d spend on charter schools and testing?

As always, errors are mine and questions are welcome.

Tracy O’Connell Novick
Field Director: Social Media 508-579-5472