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First up, this is the Governor with his same bill. Same thing as January: who-cester.blogspot.com/2019/02/govern…
TBH, I feel as though no one ever has tackled the dual nature of his bill (aka: there’s some reasonable language changes in there that clearly are DESE Finance not wanting us to have to pass the language in the budget every year) BUT the Governor doesn’t, either, so—
That brings us to the “be very afraid” section
Some of this, we dealt with back in July (dang, I need to stick that in a blog post); the thread starts here:
Upshot: yes, there are districts—not many, but several—that get more state aid under the Governor’s bill than under Promise.
(The thread explains why.)
To me (personally and an individual etc), this gets at the heart of what we are purportedly trying to do here: are we about equity?
If we are, passing Promise makes a gobsmacking difference to the highest need (and lowest local wealth) districts.
(As always, I am not and do not dismiss the struggles of those trying to keep little towns and school budgets balanced.)
Let’s keep the orders of magnitude of need and historical inequity straight here.
The Governor then says (and note how he/they were careful to include a Gateway!) that municipalities MAY EVEN HAVE TO PAY MORE MONEY TO SCHOOLS!
Okay the gif is a joke, but seriously: what happens every single year, local officials? Your state aid for schools goes up AND SO DOES YOUR LOCAL REQUIRED CONTRIBUTION!
(To swipe my boss’s joke: it isn’t rocket science; it’s Chapter 70 aid!)
Now, it is possible you did not know this: clearly, the Governor expects that some have seen this as a grand giveaway.
In fact, it seems pretty clear to me that he does.
But the shared responsibility argument of McDuffy, based in the Constitution, still holds.
NOW point he does not mention:
For many districts, the required local contribution increase is money you already are spending on schools!
After all, most districts fund well in excess of required minimum.
Thus let’s mark that argument as dubious, even if not false.
Which brings us to everyone’s favorite topic: ACCOUNTABILITY!
(Wait, how have I been covering #MAEdu this long and NOT KNOWN THAT WAS A GIF?!? Board of Ed tweeting is going to be SO much livelier now!)
Right: honest and sincere question:
How does anything he or others have proposed actually hold anyone accountable?
I mean that.
This expands the Commissioner’s powers (the blog post linked above runs through it); that’s an “or else,” though, not holding those who govern and manage and teach in schools responsible for what they do.
And of course it includes the popular “if you do badly, we can take your money away” section, which doesn’t work.
It really is a case of:
The Governor and those associated with his education policies, such as they are, really seem to have a “everything is a nail when...” view.
As always, if I missed a piece (I might have; long week already), or you have questions, send them along.
(And thanks, Travis: that means a lot.) #FBRC #MAEdu
Or, if you'd prefer a blog post: who-cester.blogspot.com/2019/09/baker-…
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