Tuesday, May 8, 2018

On to the Senate! UPDATED!

Guess what happened at the end of last week?

Senate Ways and Means voted the Foundation Budget Review Commission bill OUT of Senate Ways and Means with a positive recommendation!

It's on to the full Senate THIS THURSDAY!

PLEASE NOTE: it has been REDRAFTED, so it has a new number (again):


Okay, so what's in it? (New number means it's been changed in some way)
Remember that the basic recommendations coming out of the Commission is a four parter:
  • health insurance
  • special education
  • English learners
  • low income
There's an MASC reference with more information on this here.

Now, the recommendations on health insurance, sped, and ELL were all made clearly, with specific dollar amounts and percentages in the actual report, and thus far, all Legislation proposed that has gone anywhere has had those in it. The trick has been low income, which had a range proposed, along with some best practices; that's always been included, but the "how do we do this in a meaningful way" is being worked out.
Essentially what has been happening as the bill moves is a little more specificity on how to implement the low income recommendation. It's clear that this is responding to the experience of the low income to economically disadvantaged switch--for example, the bill has been specific in describing the children impacted in terms of the poverty rate, not in terms of being eligible elsewhere--and the subsequent debate around the use of deciles. This latest amended version has the deciles by concentration of poverty, and the amount of funding for the first decile begins at 50% of the statewide per pupil (K-12) and the tehth decile is 100%. 

Oh, and they all have the "get us better data" section.

And WOW! Look at what Brockton's planning!
Busloads of stakeholders from Brockton Public Schools are being sent to Beacon Hill on Thursday in a “Rolling Rally,” to support a state Senate bill that would significantly revise the foundation budget formula, in order to bring a more fair share of local education funding to the economically disadvantaged city.
Brockton Public Schools plans to send at least two buses filled with students, staff, administrators, school committee members, parents and other city residents to support a vote in the state Senate for Senate Bill 2325, “An Act Modernizing the Foundation Budget for the 21st Century.” The bill, which was authored by state Sen. Sonia Chang-Díaz, D-Boston, is up for discussion and a vote during the afternoon session.

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