Topic

education funding

59 petitions

Update posted 2 months ago

Petition to Karyn Polito, Charlie Baker, Sonia Chang-Diaz, Karen Spilka, Jeffrey Sanchez, Alice Peisch

State of MA: Fund 100% of Transportation for Regional School Districts

According to MA General Law Chapter 71; Section 16C, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is legally required to fully reimburse regional school districts (RSDs) for transportation costs, subject to appropriation. In recent years, Massachusetts has reduced their funding for these costs, leaving local taxpayers to pick up the tab. There are currently 58 academic regional school districts, educating 107,000 students in 170 communities across MA that are being underfunded by the state in this way, adversely impacting student education and community services. An important financial incentive for these school districts to regionalize was the reimbursement associated with transportation.  Costs associated with transporting students in a regional school district are significant, because of the geographical footprint associated with bus routes across numerous communities. Without this reimbursement by the state, these districts have had to fund transportation costs by cutting other areas of their budgets.  There has been a similar impact on municipal budgets, with cuts to town services required to make up the shortfall in transportation reimbursement funding in school budgets. For the 2016-2017 school year, the state shorted these towns and districts by 27%.  For example, the five towns and schools of the Wachusett Regional School District (WRSD), which is the largest in the state, have been underpaid by $12 million dollars over the past 9 years.   State Auditor Suzanne Bump's 2017 report,  Supporting Student and Community Success: Updating the Structure and Finance of Massachusetts Regional School Districts states clearly that the simple act of the state fulfilling its promise of funding 100% transportation costs would make an enormous impact on the budgets of all RSDs and their contributing towns.   Because of continually increasing demands due to rising health insurance and other costs,  we can no longer afford to pay what you promised! We request the Commonwealth of Massachusetts fulfill their requirement by law to fund 100% of the transportation costs for the Commonwealth’s regional schools for the school year 2018-19.  Pay what you promised for regional transportation --- and our districts and towns can thrive instead of survive.   This petition was created by I Am Wachusett (of WRSD) and Support our Children and Schools (of Ashburnham-Westminster Regional School District) on behalf of all of the 58 regional school districts in Massachusetts: Acton-Boxborough, Adams-Cheshire, Amherst-Pelham, Ashburnham-Westminster, Athol-Royalston, Ayer-Shirley, Berkshire Hills, Berlin-Boylston, Blackstone-Millville, Bridgewater-Raynham, Chesterfield-Goshen, Central Berkshire, Concord-Carlisle, Dennis-Yarmouth, Dighton-Rehoboth, Dover-Sherborn, Dudley-Charlton, Nauset, Farmington River, Freetown-Lakeville, Frontier, Gateway, Groton-Dunstable, Gill-Montague, Hamilton-Wenham, Hampden-Wilbraham, Hampshire, Hawlemont, King Philip, Lincoln-Sudbury, Manchester Essex, Martha's Vineyard, Masconomet, Mendon-Upton, Monomoy, Mount Greylock, Mohawk Trail, Narragansett, Nashoba, New Salem-Wendell, Northboro-Southboro, North Middlesex, Old Rochester, Pentucket, Pioneer Valley, Quabbin, Ralph C Mahar, Silver Lake, Somerset Berkley, Southern Berkshire, Southwick-Tolland, Granville, Spencer-East Brookfield, Tantasqua, Triton, Up-Island Regional, Wachusett, Quaboag, and Whitman-Hanson.  

I Am Wachusett
3,734 supporters
Update posted 2 months ago

Petition to Congress

Tell Congress #itstime to stop blocking school integration #STRIKE301and302

The National Coalition on School Diversity (NCSD) urges Congress to not include any provisions in the FY 2019 appropriations bills that prohibit federal funding from being used for transportation to further racial integration in public schools. Such provisions have been included in appropriations legislation since at least 1974. Sections 301 and 302 are from a bygone era. We must no longer passively accept the status quo of their presence in appropriations bills. It’s time for a shift that puts the federal government firmly on the side of local communities that desire to use their federal funds to bolster school integration efforts.  The anti-integration provisions unnecessarily limit states and local communities from utilizing the full range of school improvement techniques and other opportunities available to them under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), stripping them of the very flexibility the law was designed to extend. By barring the use of federal funds to transport students for the purposes of racial integration, these anti-integration provisions undercut educators’ ability to explore innovative and potentially significant reforms. Specifically, the provisions say: Section 301: “No funds appropriated in this Act may be used for the transportation of students or teachers (or for the purchase of equipment for such transportation) in order to overcome racial imbalance in any school or school system, or for the transportation of students or teachers (or for the purchase of equipment for such transportation) in order to carry out a plan of racial desegregation of any school or school system.” Section 302: “None of the funds contained in this Act shall be used to require, directly or indirectly, the transportation of any student to a school other than the school which is nearest the student's home, except for a student requiring special education, to the school offering such special education, in order to comply with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. For the purpose of this section an indirect requirement of transportation of students includes the transportation of students to carry out a plan involving the reorganization of the grade structure of schools, the pairing of schools, or the clustering of schools, or any combination of grade restructuring, pairing, or clustering. The prohibition described in this section does not include the establishment of magnet schools.” Section 426 of General Education Provisions Act (GEPA): “No funds appropriated for the purpose of carrying out any applicable program may be used for the transportation of students or teachers (or for the purchase of equipment for such transportation) in order to overcome racial imbalance in any school or school system, or for the transportation of students or teachers (or for the purchase of equipment for such transportation) in order to carry out a plan of racial desegregation of any school or school system...” Despite the outdated thinking this language represents, the research on the benefits of diversity are clear. Students attending racially and socioeconomically diverse schools have better test scores and higher college attendance rates than peers attending racially segregated schools with high concentrations of poverty. The benefits from attending diverse schools also continue into adulthood, such as through reduced segregation in neighborhoods, colleges, and workplaces, higher levels of social cohesion, and reduced racial prejudice. Social science also demonstrates the democratic value of meaningful, sustained cross-racial contact among youth. Dozens of organizations and individuals signed on to two letters submitted to Congress on May 31, 2018 by NCSD, requesting that lawmakers commit to removing anti-integration provisions in their FY2019 appropriations bill. Co-signers include a diversity of organizations and individuals, including the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, American Civil Liberties Union, Southern Poverty Law Center, AASA / The School Superintendents Association, National Education Association, and American Federation of Teachers. Signers collectively represent millions of educators, advocates, and other education leaders.  Add your name to this petition to tell Congress #itstime to #STRIKE301and302.  For more information please visit http://school-diversity.org/rider2019, which is dedicated to this subject. About the NCSD The National Coalition on School Diversity (www.school-diversity.org) is a network of 50+ civil rights organizations, university-based research centers, practitioners, and state and local coalitions working to support government policies that promote school diversity and reduce racial isolation. 

National Coalition on School Diversity
2,492 supporters
Update posted 2 months ago

Petition to American Offices of Higher Education, Department of Education

Reduce the tuition of America's public colleges

What is the purpose of going to college? Isn’t it to further the education of America’s next generation in something that they’re passionate about? While this may be the case, it’s pretty difficult to think of the so-called “bright” future when you’ll end up graduating with over $20,000 worth of college debt. Public Four-Year Tuition Costs in the United States: 1987-1988: $3,190 1997-1998: $4,740 2007-2008: $7,280 2017-2018: $9,970 (213% increase) Most likely, the student would pay the tuition fee themselves, with much difficulty as the rising cost of higher education has led to a collective $1.4 trillion in student loan debt. In 2012, 71 percent of graduates from four-year colleges carried debt, with students at public schools owing an average of $25,550. With these thoughts in mind, it’s not surprising that many young Americans choose to not pursue a higher education. Even though financial aid may be provided to some, not every single college attendee is able to be covered by scholarships or aid. Our goals are: To bring attention to the high college costs that continue to increase annually Gain your support in demanding for lower college prices Lower the tuition of America's public colleges America’s future doctors, lawyers, business people, and architects lie in the next generation, but the only way to bring these workers out is to give them the education that they need and desire for at a fair and reasonable cost. Without this future generation, the future of America may cease to exist. There needs to be cheaper or lower cost for the futures of tomorrow. The future lies in the hands of the present. Don’t let them down.

David A., Evelyn C., Sarah Joy G.
123 supporters