This Globe Op-Ed by four Patriots players is a really impressive piece of tough, enlightened public advocacy, on behalf of equitable school funding, a la the Foundation Budget Review Commission. The McCourty brothers,
And they pull no punches in describing legislators’ efforts. At this very site, Sen. Jason Lewis has been at great pains to tout his dedication to the FBRC recommendations. Rep. Alice Peisch of Wellesley (yes, Wellesley) has complained (via the Speaker) that protests of her handling of this issue were “counterproductive”.
Well, listen to our advocates describe the negotiation (with my emphasis):
So we were surprised that the two chairs of Joint Education Committee were working on renegotiating the low-income rate, despite the fact that the committee last session unanimously released the bill with the full low-income weighting. While Senator Jason Lewis said that he would like to see a bill out of committee in June, Representative Alice Peisch indicated that a bill might not come out until later this summer. This comes after the House delayed passing their education funding reform legislation until the final weeks of session last year and stripped out the low-income rate altogether.
We sincerely ask the House leadership not to leave behind low-income children again this year. This fall will mark the fourth anniversary of the report by the Foundation Budget Review Commission, and in that time an entire class of high school students has been failed by this inaction.
Remember that the FBRC was a bipartisan commission that made recommendations based on students’ empirical needs. It already did the math. What are we seeing here? The State Rep from one of the most fabulously wealthy towns in the Commonwealth is trying to figure out how to give little kids in Lynn, Brockton, and Lawrence a little bit less. It is, as they say, not a good look.
Your Massachusetts House of Representatives, and Rep. Peisch in particular, have not earned deference and trust. They are earning impatience and frustration, which you can detect in the Players Coalition piece here.
Rep. Peisch, Mr. Speaker: Stop complaining. Earn it. Do what the FBRC says. Give the kids the funding already.
Do your job.