The Latest: Critics say Baker’s ed funding bill inadequate

January 23, 2019

BOSTON (AP) — The Latest on the state budget and Gov. Charlie Baker’s plan to overhaul the formula used to distribute state education funds (all times local):

4:33 p.m.

Republican Gov. Charlie Baker’s plan to overhaul the state’s education formula is coming under criticism from some advocates who say it doesn’t go far enough.

The proposal, unveiled Wednesday in conjunction with Baker’s filing of his annual state budget, calls for $1.1 billion in additional school funding over seven years, much of it targeted to economically disadvantaged students.

The executive director of Citizens for Public Schools, Lisa Guisbond, said the governor’s plan would only make a “dent” in the underfunding of education, falling short of what is needed to provide a quality education to every student in Massachusetts.

Supporters of a separate bill filed earlier this month by a group of Democratic lawmakers say the governor’s proposed changes take too long to phase-in and would not provide enough additional money for the state’s poorest school districts.

2:10 p.m.

Gov. Charlie Baker has unveiled his administration’s plan for revamping the state’s public school funding formula, including targeted spending increases for low-income and special education students.

The proposal was filed Wednesday in conjunction with the Republican’s $42.7 billion state budget for the fiscal year starting July 1.

The budget calls for $262 million in additional education spending in the first year. Administration officials say changes in the formula would result in a $1.1 billion increase over current spending levels by the middle of the next decade.

Several Democratic lawmakers recently filed their own bill that seeks more equitable funding for districts that educate large numbers of students from low-income and immigrant families.

The budget, which now goes to the Legislature, also proposes a tax on opioid sales paid by their manufacturers.

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