Improve MA State Education Funding to Our Town

To: Massachusetts government officials PETITION TO THE GOVERNOR AND THE GENERAL COURT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS: We, the undersigned citizens of Shirley, Massachusetts, respectfully request the following: Our town has been faced with the increasing demands of education reform, special education mandates, and No Child Left Behind, while the restrictions of Proposition 2 1/2 have made it difficult to fund even the annual increases in pension and health care costs of our town employees, let alone rising general and special education costs. We are meeting with more and more difficulty passing Proposition 2 1/2 overrides and our town, our children and our infrastructure are suffering as a result. We are also losing over $1 million annually to area charter schools and wealthier districts that accept choice-in students. We approve of the Commonwealth's commitment to provide a 17.5% minimum floor of foundation funding for education, an increase that has been promised to be reached over the next five years. To meet local needs, however, the Commonwealth must take additional steps, including: * providing a reliable source of funding for both regular and special education tied to community needs and based on real education costs (the funding floor must be based on true costs, not political expediency), and * creating the means by which municipal employees' health care plans and pension funds can be consolidated into the Commonwealth's group health care insurance plan and pension fund in order to reduce needless, duplicate expenditures based upon antiquated systems. Thank you for your service to the Commonwealth. Respectfully submitted,

Sponsor

The Town of Shirley is losing its education funding to its town deficit, and losing students to area charter schools and wealthier districts. We, the citizens of Shirley, implore the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to provide more equitable funding for the Shirley School District, so that we can be competitive with area school districts and maintain our student population.

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