Thursday, May 10, 2007

Governor Deval Patrick speaks about education in Framingham

  • Education reform. Patrick said the traditional structure of combining state aid and local property taxes to fund school systems is ineffective because it creates "disparate" and "unintended outcomes" from community to community. He said school boards should consider long-term planning through budgets lasting three to five years, instead of annual ones.

  • This is a different message, and one that appears to me more in line with the legislature's intention in target local share reform. One of the main reasons school boards can't plan three to five years ahead is that the state changes course, typically more than once each year, with changes coming as late as three months AFTER locales have to pass budget proposals. For a three year plan to work, the state would have to commit up front to three years of funding - both the aggregate amount, as well as what each school district could expect.

    But target local share at least takes a step in that direction, if the governor and the legislature stick to that plan. Target share seeks to correct disparate and unintended outcomes from community to community.

    Caveat; Framingham has been far on the short end of disparate outcomes in local aid, so, the governor was speaking to the local audience.


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