Photo: Merrie Najimy, Barbara Barry, and Lindi DeLorio discuss improving education by recalculating the formula to calculate state educational aid.
A major component of the Massachusetts education reform law past in 1993 known as Chapter 70 was the state’s “foundation budget” formula, used to determine the cost of educating students in each district.
But for many, the more than a quarter-century old formula is now badly out of date.
On Thursday, Feb. 28, the Belmont Education Association held a Fund Our Future Forum at the Chenery Middle School with Cliff Gallant, a teacher at Burbank Elementary, leading a panel discussion on the foundation budget formula. According to a 2015 report by the Foundation Budget Review Commission, the state is underfunding our public schools by more than $1 billion a year. Of that total, Belmont would receive $3,5 million in additional annual funding.
Butler Elementary teacher Lindi DeLorio, Chenery parent Barbara Barry, Massachusetts Teachers Association President Merrie Najimy and Vice President Max Page discussed the improved opportunities for our students which could be provided with the additional state funds to support class sizes, music, and art programs. Funds could also be used to provide needed staff such as classroom aides, nurses, counselors and librarians.