Categories

Archives

Results Demonstrate Legislature’s Commitment to Education

DSC01968

By: Linda Dean Campbell – Sept. 2018

As back-to-school season rolls around, now is as good a time as ever to express our appreciation to all who are dedicated to educating our students here in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It is no surprise that Massachusetts was once again ranked the “Best State for Education” by U.S. News & World Report and the “Best School System in America” by WalletHub.

Our commitment to quality education for our children is evident in this year’s increased State education funding and in the hard work that our teachers and administrators put in every day. That being said, there is always more we can do to support our students.

This year’s state budget contained many victories for education, including an additional $160.6 million in State aid to public schools and an additional $25.6 million to reimburse school districts for costs associated with special education. This new funding will help to offset the rising education costs that are straining many school districts’ finances.

The budget also included an additional $52 million for early education.

In the same vein, the House passed legislation this year providing access to high-quality preschool programs for children in underperforming school districts, which will narrow the achievement gap in those communities. I am proud that the Legislature continues to invest in our community’s youngest students, as studies have demonstrated that early education investment is both cost-effective for taxpayers and critical for our children’s long-term success.

Despite these budget victories, we must continue to expand the state resources available to our schools. When state funds for education are limited, the cost burden on already cash-strapped municipalities can be detrimental, as we have seen in many communities across the Commonwealth. Although we are taking positive steps forward as a state, more funding must be made available.

One way to address the root of the funding issue is to update the formula by which school districts are allocated state dollars. The formula is in need of recalibration to better account for current education costs.

Efforts have been made in the Legislature to fix the funding formula, but the House and Senate were unable to reach an agreement this session. As a cosponsor of legislation on this topic, I believe it is important that we revisit this issue next session. To remain #1 in the nation, our schools need adequate funding.

In an increasingly competitive age, we must step up to prepare our children for success later in life. Investing in the schooling of our kids is investing in a strong future for Massachusetts. I look forward to continuing to advocate for policies and funding to improve education in Merrimack Valley and the Commonwealth.

State Representative Linda Dean Campbell represents the cities of Methuen and Haverhill in the State Legislature. She can be reached at (617) 722-2380 or Linda.Campbell@mahouse.gov.

ValleyPatriot

ValleyPatriot

The Valley Patriot is a free monthly print newspaper serving Northern Massachusetts, and Southern New Hampshire. The print edition is published by the 10th of each month and is distributed to 51 cities and towns.

More Posts

4 Responses to Results Demonstrate Legislature’s Commitment to Education

  1. Ellen Chambers Reply

    October 3, 2018 at 5:03 PM

    Representative Campbell:

    You need to know that Massachusetts students with disabilities have not made ANY PROGRESS over the past many years. Money is not the answer. The Education Reform Act of 1993 pumped up to $2 billion more dollars into education. The achievement gap between students with disabilities and their non-disabled peers has actually gotten worse since that time. Massachusetts is NOT first in the nation for these students. Some of this has to do with the fact that the Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education does not respond effectively to widespread noncompliance with special education laws in our schools. Also contributing factor is the fact that our public schools refuse to embrace proven techniques for educating students with various disabilities. Our kids don’t learn well “in the box” and our schools absolutely refuse to get “out of the box.” Contact me to learn more.
    Ellen M. Chambers, MBA
    SPEDWatch
    Tel (978) 433-5983
    emchambers123@gmail.com

  2. Anne Burke Reply

    October 3, 2018 at 5:22 PM

    Dear Rep. Campbell,

    Feel free to contact me for a horror story about how my well respected and accomplished district treated my kid with issues they refused to address. When I say horror, I am being kind! You have no idea what you are talking about, this is not the best state for education. Is is one of the best in abusing and neglecting our most vulnerable students.

    My student is no longer a student in my local district. They drove us out. If I hadn’t taken my child out, I might have had to plan a funeral and burial for my child by now.

    I await your call. 508 942-6025.

    Anne Burke
    Mansfield MA

  3. Marion King Reply

    October 4, 2018 at 8:13 AM

    Dear Representative Campbell, I urge you to contact Ms. Chambers for the volume of evidence she has compiled, from public records, which demonstrate not only that students in MA with disabilities are doing worse than ever but also that multiple individuals and departments within the MA DESE are aware of this and have refused – time and time again – to act. DESE continues to present this false narrative of success.

    Ms. Burke’s story mirrors my family’s story, but I am still far too angry to tell my story well. I urge you to also contact the Disability Law Center, Mass Advocates for Children, or just join SPEDWatch and ask some parents about their day today. I assure you that the impacts of the DESE’s refusals to act are felt daily.

    Marion King
    Foxborough

  4. Linda Reply

    October 4, 2018 at 6:46 PM

    Dear Rep. Campbell:

    If it is the actual truth you seek, than I too urge you to contact Ms. Chambers. My experience with my child’s school district is no different than what has been written by Ms. King, and Ms. Burke.

    Non-Compliance issues are a daily occurance and Mass DESE turns the other cheek most often when these issues are reported. Families fighting for their children without proper recourse.

    Facts not fiction Mr. Cambell. You can get them from the actual parents, advocates and students who have to fight these battles every day here in Massachusetts.

    Linda Lawn
    Rehoboth

Leave a Reply to Linda Cancel reply