Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Foundation Budget Review Commission Hearings

Last night at the Holten Richmond Middle School in Danvers, I attended and spoke at the first of six public hearings conducted by the Foundation Budget Review Commission (FBRC). The commission, which was created earlier this year, is seeking input from education experts, government officials and legislators, and members of the general public to assist the commission in finalizing this year’s foundation budget. The FBRC has been tasked to review the foundation budgetary process that outlines each school district’s minimum level of school spending needed to ensure a sufficient education to all of the state’s students.

In particular, the commission is seeking comment on several areas of concern, including:

·       Educational programs and services necessary to achieve the commonwealth’s educational goals and to prepare students to achieve passing scores on the state assessment system;

·        Components and assumptions used in the calculation of foundation budgets;

·        Measures to ensure that resources are effectively utilized; and

·        Models of efficient and effective resource allocation.

I sponsored an amendment that was co-sponsored by Senator Chang Diaz, the co-chair of the Joint Committee on Education, that was included in the Senate’s version of the Fiscal year 2015 state budget that created the Foundation Budget Review Commission. The amendment authorizes the FBRC to review and examine the Chapter 70 funding mechanism to ensure a more equitable funding system for the Commonwealth’s public schools.

Future public hearings include:

·         Monday, December 15th, 4:30PM, South Shore Region

·          Saturday, January 10th, 11:00AM, Western MA

·          Saturday, January 24th, 11:00AM, Central MA

·          Saturday, February 14th, 11:00AM, Cape Cod

·          Monday, March 9th, 4:30PM, Boston

To read the law that created the commission in July, please click here (Section 124).