To right wingers who say that we can’t afford to help children refugees from Central America because that money should help more “deserving” people like homeless veterans, I say, you’ve had DECADES to help veterans and you’ve done nothing! Don’t pretend you care about our own people now that an even more disadvantaged group coming across the border. And don’t pretend we only have the money and resources to help one group or another. The money is out there, we just need the will to combat greed and do what’s right.
As you prepare to debate and vote on Bill S2262, I ask you to consider the impact it will have on the children already attending public schools in the communities in the bottom 10%. You have heard from Marc Kenen and other paid lobbyists. Please consider the families; our only interest is to give our children the best possible education. We cannot expand one tier of public schools by defunding the other. Before expanding charter school growth, you as legislator must establish an equitable, separate funding mechanism. Imagine for a moment if this were a bill to expand a separate, privatized division of the Massachusetts State Police; operating WITHOUT accountability to voters, but publicly funded by siphoning money from the traditional police force (and THEN you asked the traditional police force to reduce crime with LESS resources). There would be outrage in the streets. Expanding charter schools hurts the school district you are intending to help. My daughter is thriving in a Level 3 Boston Public School. Her school may appear to some as one of the “under-performing” schools that the authors of this bill are targeting, but the test scores alone do not reveal the reality parents see on the ground. Her school is becoming a full-inclusion model for children with special needs - AND - has a high concentration of children living in poverty (80% qualify for free or reduced lunch) - AND - educates English language learners. Her school is doing a wonderful job nurturing the kids who need the most help, in an inclusive environment. As a whole, they do not test well, but I urge you to come visit some of these Level 3 Boston Public Schools to understand all of the moving parts in this delicate machine. I am not looking for an escape route from her “under-performing” school, I’m asking our elected officials to SUPPORT her school. We don’t need more charter schools, we need programs that expand early education, support English language learners and fully fund SPED services. As a parent, not as a paid lobbyist or a member of a special interest group, I am asking you to do what is right and vote NO on S2262. Please: Let us stop fighting over schools that don’t exist and start defending the children in the schools that already DO exist. Thank you so much for your public service and commitment to serve all of the children in the Commonwealth."
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By contrast, urban mass transit, school systems, parks, affordable housing and even urban welfare recipients receive crumbs relative to the vastness of government largess showered on suburbia. Is it any wonder that in bustling, successful American cities, our subways remain old, our public housing dilapidated and our schools subpar? I am not arguing that people should not live in suburbs. But we shouldn’t pay them to do so, particularly now that our world and the desires of our population are evolving. This need not be a divisive debate. With millions of Americans already gravitating toward cities, the real question is what it means for our collective future, and how we respond."
Believe it or not it’s been three years since I posted how much I hate Daylight Saving Time, and particularly the night in which we must “spring forward” the clock 1 hour. I’m not looking forward to waking up tomorrow and dragging myself through the day.
I’ve nothing new to write, but here are my previous four posts on the topic: