Saturday, 2:15 PM
Commission will implement Patrick's education reforms
(David L. Ryan/Globe Staff)
Schoolchildren and reporters listened today at the Boys and Girls Club of Dorchester as Governor Deval Patrick outlined his education reforms.
By Tania deLuzuriaga, Globe Staff
Governor Deval Patrick has appointed a special commission to come up with ways to fund the 50-plus initiatives in his sweeping education reform package.
Governor Deval Patrick
Headed by Suffolk Construction CEO John Fish and Bentley College President Gloria Larson, the 16-member panel will explore options to finance the initiatives, including a measure that would make community colleges free for all students. The panel will also look at revamping the way public schools are funded to avoid reliance on local property tax overrides.
With costs of energy, special education, and labor rapidly rising, Massachusetts school districts are increasingly under financial pressure and more frequently turning to voters for permission to raise property taxes. Districts across the state now spend on average 18 percent more than the foundation budgets set by the state funding formula, Patrick said at a news conference at the Boys and Girls Club of Dorchester today. Communities must fund the difference between the state's foundation budget and what their school districts need.
"Everything is on the table," Patrick said, responding to a question about whether his proposals could mean new taxes. "Our future is at stake."
The commission will issue its recommendations by Nov. 15, Patrick said. A story in today's Globe outlined the plan.
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