Hearing on SB 299: Requiring Research on Resources for Schools

On Thursday, June 2, the Legislature's Joint Committee on Education will be holding a hearing on MTA's bill, S. 299, beginning at noon in Gardner Auditorium at the Statehouse, Boston.

S. 299 has been filed by Senators Jarrett Barrios (D-Cambridge), Edward Augustus (D-Worcester), and Karen Spilka (D-Ashland), and by Representatives Steve Walsh (D-Lynn), David Linsky (D-Natick) and Steve Kulik (D-Worthington), as well as by 103 other legislators.  The bill, as originally filed in December 2004, was in anticipation of the Hancock ruling by the Supreme Judicial Court and required that a special commission would be funded to conduct research to determine what resources are necessary so that all students can achieve the state education standards. 

The bill's sponsors will be proposing an amendment to the bill, which would not change the fundamental purpose of requiring research, but which would require the Joint Committee on Education to contract with a qualified consultant to undertake the research, rather than to require a special commission. The sponsors believe the proposed amendment could save time and money.

The purpose of the bill is the same: to require a research-based evaluation and analysis of what resources are necessary for all schools to ensure that all students can meet the state's education standards.  A report and recommendations would be submitted to the Legislature no later than September 1, 2006, so that such recommendations could be considered for the FY2008 budget.

We urge you to join us at the hearing on June 2 to testify in support of this bill.  While the Committee is holding its hearing on June 2, it is unlikely to vote on this bill or other Chapter 70-related bills in the near future. Even if you are unable to join us on June 2, we hope you can submit testimony to the Committee in support of S. 299. 

If you can join us on June 2, please let us know by contacting Julie Johnson at 617-878-8315 or at jjohnson@massteacher.org. If you would like to send written testimony, you can send it to:  Chairman Patricia Haddad,  Committee on Education, Room 473G, Statehouse, Boston, MA  02133 and/or to Chairman Robert Antonioni, Committee on Education, Room 109E, State House, Boston, MA  02133.