Toxic chemicals & safer alternatives in MA - State Sen. Eldrige
Quote from State Senator Jamie Eldridge: “The Safer Alternatives Bill will not only protect millions in Massachusetts from exposure to toxic chemicals, it will do so in a way that supports economic growth and can save the Commonwealth more than $100 million dollars a year. This report adds to the ever-growing body of evidence regarding the link between many common, chronic diseases and exposure to chemicals found in many household products. This is an incredibly important bill, and I’m proud to support it.” Click "Read more:" below for the full story.Add a comment
Representative Dykema Comments on Recently Passed Education Reform Bill
Representative Dykema Comments on Recently Passed Education Reform Bill
Boston, MA - On Thursday evening I joined my colleagues in the House and Senate in supporting passage of an education reform bill, an Act Relative to the Achievement Gap. This new law provides tools to improve struggling schools and creates a limited number of new charter schools in underperforming districts. Notably, the law will also put Massachusetts in a strong position to access up to $250 million in federal education funds. During debate, I co-sponsored a number of amendments to address concerns I have heard from our schools, and I am pleased that the final bill included a number of provisions that will help the schools in my district.
First, it requires the state to make an assessment of the true cost of a high quality education. Educators have contended for many years that there is a mismatch been our expectations for our students and the funding provided to meet them. This evaluation will assess resources available to schools, seek to understand how they’re spent, identify cost effective best practices, and provide the data needed to maximize the value of every education dollar.
Second, the law begins to address charter school funding concerns. The current method of funding charter schools drains needed dollars from public schools which are already facing tight budgets. Although only a first step, the new law provides some additional funding to public schools to offset the fiscal impact of charter school transfers.
Third, the bill protects regional school transportation funding. This year, I and other legislators who represent regional schools helped prevent transportation funding cuts that would have disproportionately affected regional schools. The new law will ensure these funds are protected in the future.
We can never be complacent when it comes to education, and we need to continually challenge ourselves to be better, even in the face of financial constraints. With this new law, the Commonwealth has taken an important step forward in providing for the education of our children and our future.
Rep. Carolyn Dykema represents the 8th Middlesex district which includes Holliston, Hopkinton, Medway (pct. 1), Southborough (pcts. 2,3) and Westborough (pct. 2)Add a comment
Karyn Polito press release regarding passage of the education reform bill
HOUSE PASSES EDUCATION REFORM BILL
Bill will qualify the state to receive up to $250 million in additional funding
BOSTON – The House of Representatives has accepted the conference committee report allowing for passage of education reform for the first time in Massachusetts since 1993. The legislation will, among other things, qualify Massachusetts for up to $250 million in federal aid as part of President Barack Obama’s “Race to the Top Funding” initiative to improve the nation’s education system.
“We have reason to be proud of the quality public education in Shrewsbury and Westborough, but there are still some school districts in the state that underperform. This bill targets those districts that need more work and makes more charter schools available across the Commonwealth. I advocated strongly for higher reimbursements to sending school districts and am pleased that more dollars will be devoted to helping our school districts address their fixed costs. Increased funding helps to level the playing field for our towns, although there is still more work to do in this area,” said Rep. Karyn E. Polito (R-Shrewsbury).
The bill will allow for a clear determination of what constitutes an underperforming and chronically underperforming school which will allow those schools, through enhanced administrative actions to turn themselves around. With regard to the charter school funding formula, the final bill includes language which calls for a new charter reimbursement schedule of 225% over a six year period with 100% in the first year followed by five years at 25%. Polito had proposed an increase to 305% over six years, based on recommendations from the Mass. Association of Superintendents.
Furthermore, the final bill includes language requiring DESE to conduct a study of the “status of the public education financing system,” and an analysis of funding discrepancies between a school or district’s funding and their actual needs. It also requires reductions in regional transportation to be no greater than proportional to reductions to Chapter 70 dollars.
The House and Senate enacted the bill which will now be sent to Governor Patrick for signature.Add a comment
Statement from State Rep. Karyn Polito on Proposed Amendment to Reformulate Charter School Funding Formula
STATEMENT OF REPRESENTATIVE KARYN POLITO (R-SHREWSBURY) ON THE MISSED OPPORTUNITY TO LEVEL THE PLAYING FIELD FOR OUR SCHOOLS
“Today, Massachusetts is taking steps to improve under-performing school districts by bolstering our support for charter schools. I support giving parents additional education options through the cultivation of charter schools, but I believe those opportunities should not come at the expense of students who remain within the traditional public school system.
I proposed an amendment today that would have helped to resolve this problem by creating a funding formula that would more fairly reimburse school districts when students who live there attend charter schools. It would have helped to level the playing field between public school districts and charter schools, which I believe is an important priority for our cities and towns. The amendment also had the support of the Massachusetts Superintendents Association, the Massachusetts Municipal Association, and Stand For Children.
I am disappointed that this amendment was not adopted as a way to improve upon the changes being made in the education reform package. Instead, the amendment was recommended for further study, as members refused to even discuss a way to ease the plight facing cities and towns. Unfortunately, tonight, members preferred procedural tactics and politics to good policy. Going forward, I will continue to try to find ways to improve our education system here in Massachusetts while holding cities and towns harmless for any changes.”
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Rep. Polito Office Hours for Jan 2010
State Rep. Karyn E. Polito, R-Shrewsbury, will hold office hours 9AM - 10:30AM on January 8 at Shrewsbury Senior Center, 98 Maple Ave., Shrewsbury and 11AM -12PM. on January 8 at Westborough Senior Center, 4 Rogers Rd., Westborough. Additionally, she will hold office hours from 9AM - 10AM on January 15 at Shrewsbury Towers, 36 N. Quinsigamond Ave., Shrewsbury. No appointment is necessary.
Office of Representative Karyn E. Polito
State House, Room 167
Boston, MA 02133
617-722-2230Add a comment
Representative Dykema and Senator Karen Spilka Announce Passage of Bill to Aid Towns
Representative Dykema and Senator Karen Spilka
Announce Passage of Bill to Aid Towns
Boston - Representative Carolyn Dykema and Senator Karen Spilka today announced the passage of An Act Extending the Deadline for Mailing Quarterly Tax Bills.
The bill will allow municipalities that have not yet set a tax rate, including the Towns of Holliston, Medway and Southborough, a one-time, one month extension for mailing quarterly tax bills.
“The signing of this bill is a tremendous help to the Town of Holliston,” said Kathryn Peirce, Town Assessor. “It allows continuity of the administrative process without placing an additional financial burden on the Town, and ensures that the tax payers will not be caused unnecessary financial stress in an already stressful economy.”
“With our cities and towns facing such tight budgets, passage of this bill will ensure that 135 communities are spared potential cash flow concerns,” Rep Dykema (D-Holliston) said. “I’m pleased that working together, the assessors and the legislature were able to ensure that our Towns and residents are relieved of additional fiscal pressure.”
“It is imperative that the state do all we can to help relieve the pressure on municipalities and homeowners during these tough fiscal times.” Senator Spilka (D-Ashland) noted. “The swift passage of this bill is a great example of the Senate and House taking that responsibility seriously and acting together to help provide some stability amongst uncertainty. I commend my colleagues in the Legislature for their work on this bill on behalf of our cities and towns.”
State Representative Carolyn Dykema represents the towns of Holliston, Hopkinton, Medway (pct. 1), Southborough (pct. 2 & 3) and Westborough (pct. 2).
State Senator Karen Spilka represents the towns of Ashland, Framingham, Holliston, Hopkinton and Natick (pct .1- 5 & 8) Franklin, (pct. 1 &5–8), and Medway.Add a comment
Rep. Polito Office Hours for Dec 2009
- Senate Passes Comprehensive Crime Bill
- Small Business Owners Invited to Roundtable Discussion - Framingham, Nov 19
- Eldridge Appointed Chair of Water Commission by Governor Patrick
- Legislature Passes Bill to Improve Benefits for Veterans
- A Day to Thank Our Veterans - by Rep. Dykema
- Polito's 2009 Annual Patriotic Rally a Success!
- Polito Holds Office Hours - Nov 2009
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