This site aims to inform and mobilize Beverly parents to take an active role in all issues related to the funding and operation of the city's schools. It was launched in the spring of 2008, when the city saw its first-ever override attempt fail, followed by the closure of a nearly-new elementary school. Subsequent years have seen further cuts that have led to larger class sizes across the district. While the opening of an impressive new high school and plans to replace the city's aging middle school give us reason to be optimistic, the school community must be ever vigilant in demanding appropriate school funding by city and state governments, and better community communications from the district and School Committee.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Understanding State Education Funding

UPDATE: The location of Monday's Stand event has changed to North Reading Middle School, 19 Sherman Road.

Even those of us who follow the school budget process closely, often find it difficult to make sense of what goes on at the Statehouse, and understand how decisions made there affect Beverly schools.

If you'd like to learn more, the Beverly chapter of Stand for Children is cosponsoring a forum titled Politics, Policy, and Campaigns on Monday, September 20.  The event, held in conjunction with several other Massachusetts Stand communities will be held at the at the Flint Memorial Library, 147 Park St. in North Reading (6:30 PM: Welcome and Refreshments, 7-9 PM: Program)

Join other Beverly Stand members and learn about the funding and policy issues that impact children’s education in Massachusetts, and how you can have a role influencing the key decisionmakers.

If you are interested in attending, please contact Kris Silverstein to RSVP, or with questions. Also please indicate in your message if you'd like to car pool.

On a related topic, the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, a research group that analyzes the state budget, has just released a report titled Public School Funding in Massachusetts: Where We Are, What Has Changed, and How We Compare to Other States.

The report provides a detailed looks at the statistics surrounding education funding, and reports several key findings.
  • Massachusetts ranks high in per-pupil spending but ranks low in total education spending as a percentage of the state economy. 
  • Massachusetts continues to rank low in state funding as a percentage of the total economy, although this percentage increased steadily during the mid to late 1990s.
  • Massachusetts schools rely heavily on local funding sources. 
If you are a budget junkie, it's worth a read.

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