Monday, May 14, 2007

Op Ed, Attleboro Sun Chronicle

An opinion piece from a mostly Republican slice of far-suburban southern Mass, speaking about a possible realigning deal on property taxes and state school funding appealing to the middle (Attleboro) rather than to the low end (Lawrence) or the high (Dover). Excerpts below.

Massachusetts politics: You've got to love it, like lately, when sources on both right and left are saying that Gov. Deval Patrick's property tax remedy plan won't work.

What's lovable about this - in the sense that you've got to love the absurdity of it, as the reality would be too much to bear - is that Patrick hasn't made his plan public yet. He has merely dropped a few hints that one is coming. The Sun Chronicle area's Republican lawmakers, as well as an array of sources on Beacon Hill, seem to be saying "whatever it is, it won't work."


We also believe an education funding shift is possible. There is a precedent in the area of public welfare, burdens of which the state relieved cities and towns in the early 1960s. And we believe that if Patrick and the Legislature don't act on their own, there will eventually be court action to force their hands. Other states have been forced into school funding reform when lawsuits demonstrated that students in different cities and towns received educations that were inequitable in quality. Massachusetts has made many adjustments, but it appears very much open to charges of inequity when the state has paid as much as 100 percent of the education costs in a Lawrence and only 10 percent in a Dover.


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