Stakeholders set aside differences to push for reforms

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A wide array of education leaders from across Massachusetts gathered at the State House Tuesday, July 25 to testify in favor of Foundation Budget reforms before the Joint Committee on Education.

The bill, An Act Modernizing the Foundation Budget for the 21st Century (S.223), introduced by Sen. Sonia Chang- Díaz (D-Boston), would implement the recommendations of the bipartisan Foundation Budget Review Commission to update the state’s 24-year-old education funding formula.

The hearing follows months of advocacy by educators, school officials, parents and students from the heart of Boston to the hills of Western Massachusetts. More than 40 school committees across the state have passed resolutions supporting the reforms, and in April, diverse stakeholder groups met in a packed room together at the State House to push for the legislation.

“The consensus shown today in support of fixing the FBRC is unprecedented,” said Chang-Díaz, Education Committee chair and sponsor of S.223. “It’s not every day you see the Boston Teachers’ Union, the Boston superintendent’s office and Boston School Committee on the same side of the table, let alone Democrats for Education Reform and the teachers’ unions.”

Rebecca Rutenberg