Public Policy Updates

MASC reports on Massachusetts public schools, education news, school committee issues and updates from the Department of Education.

This information has been compiled by MASC Field Director Tracy Novick.

Public Policy Updates: June Board of Ed

True to new Chair Katherine Craven's promise to take meetings on the road, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education met on Tuesday, June 25 at Rumney Marsh Academy in Revere. The agenda is online here; the video of the meeting may be viewed here

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Council for Fair School Finance files lawsuit for equitable school funding

Today, the Council for Fair School Finance, of which MASC is a member, announced the filing of a lawsuit to pursue equity in school finance.

At a press conference at the State House, NAACP New England Area Conference President Juan Cofield opened by saying regarding the lawsuit, “We felt it necessary given the harm that continues to be done to our children” due to the inequity in the funding of education.


Group photo from education event


Speaking of the experience of her children in the Fall River Public Schools, Denise DaPointe Mussotte said,"I totally believe it's funding and the lack of funding" that harms her children's education. She noted there being thirty children in a class, there not being enough books, "it goes on and on and on." She said, "all we can ask for is the state to come through with the funding that we need." Maneisha Straker, also a Fall River parent, "if there were more investment in this generation, they would be able to be more successful in life...it is time to invest in them."

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Public Policy Updates: May Board of Ed

The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education held their regular May meeting at the Malden Public Library on Tuesday, May 21. The agenda can be found online here

Chair Katherine Craven told the Board that there is a plan, as she had said last month, to take the meetings on the road; the Board plans to meet next month in either Holyoke or Revere. Vice-Chair James Morton said that the subcommittee appointed to evaluate Commissioner Jeffrey Riley would be reporting out at that meeting. 

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Public Policy Updates: April 2019 Board of Education

The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education met for its regular April meeting on Tuesday, April 23 at Newton North High School. Every year, the Board has one meeting at the school of their student member; this year, that is Maya Mathews, a senior at Newton North High School.

The agenda of the meeting can be found online here; a video of the meeting is here.  

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Public Policy Updates: Joint Committee on Education

On Friday, March 22, the Joint Committee on Education held a hearing on education finance bills (note: link has video). The Committee gavelled into session shortly after ten in the morning, and the Committee hearing ended eight and a half hours later. The vast majority of testimony taken during that time centered on reconsideration of the foundation budget. 
In opening the hearing, House Chair Alice Peisch said she would find most useful testimony that centered on the issues surrounding low income students and how the state might be certain additional funding was spent on such students, including the best interventions. Senate Chair Jason Lewis quoted the first Massachusetts Secretary of Education Horace Mann in his Tenth Annual Report to the Massachusetts Board of Education: 

Having no other mines to work, Massachusetts has mined into the human intellect; and, from its limitless resources, she has won more sustaining and enduring prosperity and happiness than if she had been founded on a stratification of silver and gold, reaching deeper down than geology has yet penetrated.

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