Monday, September 14, 2020

Commonwealth Magazine: "Business groups urge shifting aid from wealthier to poorer school districts" ; "MassDOT, Boston stick with auto-centric approach"

From CommonWealth Magazine we share two articles of interest for Franklin:  

"LESS THAN A year after Massachusetts enacted sweeping legislation to revamp its school funding formula to steer millions of dollars in new aid to low-income districts, a new report suggests the state should go even further in ensuring that support goes to the neediest districts.

Although the more than $5 billion of state funding to schools is largely directed to lower-income school districts, nearly $800 million is allocated without regard to need. A report released Monday by the Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education and Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce says the state should pull back on that funding and redeploy those dollars to low-income districts that continue to struggle to adequately fund schools.

“If ever there was a moment to promote equity in funding education, now is the time to do it,” said Ed Lambert, executive director of the business alliance. “For every dollar we send to communities that can afford to fund schools on their own we’re moving further, not closer, to equity.”

Lambert said uncertainties introduced by the pandemic about the state’s ability to meet its commitments to poorer districts under the funding measure passed last year make the case even more urgent for cutting the amount of aid distributed on a “need-blind” basis."

Continue reading the article online

"THIS IS A TALE of two transportation issues – a window on how we may be losing the opportunity moment provided by a generationally disruptive pattern break.

The pattern break, of course, is the COVID-19 pandemic. Every pattern break in history changes the ways we do things going forward. The example I give most often is the experience of 9/11. That pattern break changed forever the way we approach flying and aviation security, it changed the ways we enter public and private buildings, it changed the urban streetscape as barriers originally installed as ugly concrete blocks gave way to highly designed barriers that blend seamlessly into the architectural fabric of the urban landscape.

The COVID-19 pattern break will be as or more significant than the 9/11 break. The impacts of the pandemic reach into almost every aspect of our lives – how we work, how we use and enjoy public and private spaces, how we move from place to place, how we utilize essential services.  The list is nearly endless.

The pandemic won’t last forever – nothing does.  But its effects will stay with us for a long time, some perhaps permanently.  Each of us has been challenged to manage and deal with the realities of this harsh moment – the need to isolate from others, to wear masks outside the home, to significantly alter our desires and habits. But each of us also is being challenged to think about how to build a better future."
Continue reading the article online

No comments:

Post a Comment