Sunday, January 6, 2019

Note who says what on foundation budget reform

...and speaking of which, I don't want to miss this from MassLive which got several important players on record around foundation budget reform. Note what is, and what is NOT, said:
After the speech, Education Secretary Jim Peyser said the administration’s proposals will be phased in over time and “will represent a significant new investment in our K-12 education system, while at the same time recognizing that how much we spend is ultimately not as important as how well we spend it.”  Peyser declined to say how much money the governor would invest or where that money would come from. But, he said, “There will be a funding mechanism to ensure that it’s paid for.”
So the "not as important as how we spend it" line, again, which, when we're talking about required services like health insurance and special education versus regular classroom teachers seems like...we should do both.
Also " a funding mechanism" from a Governor who promised not to raise taxes. Hmm.

Senate President Spilka's remarks from earlier in the week are cited.

It's well known that the House leadership is more conservative than the Senate's (I've heard it said that the Democratic House leadership is more conservative than the Republicans in the Senate, but I won't vouch for that; they do certainly get more done on education funding); see this, which is the only comment I've been able to find from the House Speaker:
House Speaker Robert DeLeo, D-Winthrop, said Thursday that education reform was one of the items already on his radar screen for the new session.
DeLeo said he hopes that Baker laying out his position will help move the debate forward. “I’m hopeful that maybe that might make things a little bit better, to see where it’s at, where he’s coming from on this most important subject,” DeLeo said.
...which looks a lot like the House getting cover from the Republican Governor.

And also:
Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz, D-Boston, who chaired the Senate Education Committee last session and is leading the Senate’s efforts to update the education funding formula, said, “I’m really glad that the governor has come into the table and is elevating the issue.”

But Chang-Diaz said she would have liked to see Baker give a more complete description of the scope of the problem, and she is not happy with the level at which Baker has funded education so far. However, Chang-Diaz said she is “keeping an open mind” and is hopeful Baker will adopt the Foundation Budget Review Commission’s recommendations.
At this point, we're all waiting for the Governor's budget, due January 23.
Fund Our Future said the Governor's proposal should be rejected; as far as I can see, the Governor hasn't actually made a proposal, so I don't think there's anything to reject.
Stand for Children goes farther than the Governor did himself, and thus thanks him beyond what is deserved:
“Governor Baker made fair school funding the top priority for his administration’s second term and for that he deserves the appreciation of every parent in Massachusetts who is concerned that their children are not getting the same quality education as students in our wealthier communities,” Aloisio said in a statement.
He...didn't say that. And let's wait to see what he proposes (certainly, with due skepticism) before we get out the ticker tape. 

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