An education reform bill that would put $1.5 billion in the state’s K-12 education system was passed 39-0 by the Senate in Boston, Massachusetts. The proposal is expected to last for the next seven years focusing on the resources and programs that will help low-income students.
Passing the education reform bill strengthens community-based learning
Branded as the Student Opportunity Act, the bill makes the most significant update on the education funding formula since it started in 1993. The bill aims to fund more money into the state’s public education system. Additional funds from the bill will help boost every school district in Massachusetts.
Senate approved the bill unanimously with a 39-0 voting result.
Lawmakers applauded themselves for coming up with the bill. It was a major leap towards closing the educational gap in poor communities especially with the minority students underperforming in class.
Massachusetts Senate passes $1.5 billion education funding bill after lengthy debate https://t.co/gSJv41Bo8j
— Barbara Davis (@barbarapdavis) October 6, 2019
Senate Education Chairman Jason Lewis cited that, many districts are currently struggling due to lack of resources, no librarian, no regular nursing aid, limited art and music programs, higher student to teacher ratio, and insufficient counseling services.
Education reforms needed for an underfunded system
Way back in 2015, a commission inspected the state formula being used to fund public education, it showed a major underfund on the education system for about $1 billion a year. The reason behind the underfunding is not accounting certain costs like funding for special education, workers’ health insurance, and educating in districts with a high rate of poverty.
The bill is set to prioritize funding in district schools with high student to teacher ratio. This will help students to learn more and be educated efficiently. Lawmakers expect a drastic change in student performance in district schools as the funding of the bill passes through the House.
In addition to the education reform bill is the emphasis on special education funding.
We are missing the boat with special education
-Senator Jo Comerford
The senator is in full support for a greater increase in funds for the special education program. Some schools are hesitant in accepting special children, but with the new bill, it will allow schools to claim higher reimbursement rates for accepting special education students.