Tuesday, April 11, 2017

In the News: Council to reconsider Summer St; State to reconsider school funding

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:

"The Town Council is scheduled this week to determine if the local government will re-consider a controversial Summer Street zoning change it earlier rejected. 
On the agenda for Wednesday’s council meeting is a vote on the resubmittal of the move, which would allow for denser development on the 11-acre property at 496 Summer St. by changing it from a “rural residential I” zone to a “single-family residential VII” one. 
If a majority of the council agrees to the reconsideration, the process would restart - the change would be referred to the Planning Board for approval, and the council would have to hold a public hearing and two readings. The change would still need a two-thirds approval by the council to take effect. 
The request was submitted by property owner Bruce Hunchard, who said he was legally allowed to seek a resubmittal, and that he had followed the rules in requesting the change. He noted that the single-family residential VII zone had been on the town’s books for several years."

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"The state’s 24-year-old school funding formula comes up short by $1-2 billion when it comes to projecting the real cost of public education each year, according to a group of lawmakers and education experts who unveiled a new proposal Monday. 
State Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz, D-Jamaica Plain, is the lead sponsor of S.223, a bill that would phase in an overhaul of the current K-12 funding formula. Over the past two-dozen years, rapidly rising costs for healthcare and special education have handcuffed school systems, leaving them with little left to spend elsewhere and sometimes forcing them to make cuts to programs that directly impact student services. 
“This is not schools asking for extra funding. This is not schools being frivolous,” Chang-Diaz said. “This funding formula has eroded ... Every year, we have been asking schools to do more and more with less.” 
Dozens of state lawmakers and education leaders gathered Monday at the Statehouse to name the bill a top legislative priority."

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