blogging on education in Worcester, in Massachusetts, and in America
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Birmingham didn't forget
While the commentary from former Senate President Tom Birmingham on ed reform at 20 is largely getting attention due to its mistrust of the Common Core, I was pleased to see that he remembered what is too often glossed over: it was a funding deal. And more than that: it's overdue for reconsideration:
Today, I fear we may be veering away from the act’s two core values — adequate funding and rigorous standards. If we abandon the bedrock principles that have proven to be historically successful, we imperil the progress we have made. In the last decade, support for public schools lost its primacy on Beacon Hill and state budgets reflect that. Today our inflation-adjusted education appropriation is the same as it was in 2002.
In contrast to the generous expansion of the 1990s, education funding for the last decade has remained flat. As a result, according to the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, many (mostly low-income) school districts simply do not have the resources needed to provide the caliber of education envisioned in the reform act’s foundation budget.