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Hello Valley Patriot Readers,
It has been 25 years since the state’s education funding formula has been updated.
A lack of reform has left school districts significantly underfunded, with insufficient support for special education, English-language learner programs, and school building construction and renovation, among other areas.
That is why I am so pleased to have recently joined my colleagues in the Massachusetts Senate in unanimously passing bipartisan, landmark legislation, the Student Opportunity Act. This is a comprehensive bill that will have a positive impact on our public schools in the Merrimack Valley and across Massachusetts.
The Student Opportunity Act makes unprecedented, necessary investments in our local K-12 education – including transportation, special education, and school infrastructure – to ensure our school districts have the resources they need to provide students with the highest quality education, regardless of income level or zip code.
School districts in our region will greatly benefit from long overdue updates to the state’s outdated funding formula. These policy reforms will help to monitor and measure progress, support impactful approaches to closing opportunity gaps, and deliver the results our students deserve.
In addition to implementing formula changes, the Student Opportunity Act provides much needed state financial support in several areas to help public schools and communities. The legislation fully funds charter school tuition reimbursement, providing sufficient transitional aid to help districts when students leave to attend charter schools; increases reimbursements to districts for extraordinary special education costs; bolsters funding for English-language learner programs; and enables additional investment in school building construction and renovation projects.
In addition, the bill establishes a Rural Schools Commission to examine the unique enrollment and other challenges faced by our rural and regional school districts.
The Student Opportunity Act charges the state with holding up its end of the bargain to pay its fair share for mandates on our local schools. It’s about time.
I am proud to have voted in support of this important bill and am committed to continuing to advocate for it moving forward in the legislative process.
If you have questions about this or any legislation currently being examined on Beacon Hill, please feel free to contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone at (617) 722-1604.
Yours in service,