Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Under Pressure, Patrick Moves to Reverse Regional Transportation Cuts

In October, Governor Patrick dealt a serious blow to our regional schools by taking unilateral action under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 29, Section 9c to cut regional school transportation funding. The tremendously adverse impacts of this action compelled me to join with 61 of my colleagues to request that the Governor reverse this action, which came without legislative authorization.

More recently, I met with stakeholders from the Triton Regional School District last Monday to evaluate the situation and strategize regarding further actions to continue efforts to change the regional school transportation funding situation. The meeting brought together a strong coalition of selectmen, parents, school committee members and others committed to this issue.

The Governor had slashed this account by nearly 50% from $40.5 million to $22.5 million. For more on the subject of regional school transportation funding, please read today’s article by Katie Curley Katzman of The Newburyport Daily News.

Fortunately, Governor Patrick announced this morning that he intends to reverse the cut to regional school transportation funding, and has directed members of his administration to identify a means to do so. This is a positive development, although the problem is not yet solved.

I remain committed to bringing this issue to a positive conclusion, and want to express my deep gratitude to all those who have been involved with my office in confronting this cut. While there is work still to be done on this front, we have proven that by working together, we can shape the course of state government in positive ways.

Regional Transportation Letter