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Education Day Drop-In Session for LSC Grads
March 13 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Wednesday, March 13 | UMass School of Law, Moot Courtroom
Space is limited to ten alumni for each offering on a first-come, first-served basis.
You must RSVP with Jennifer Downing to reserve your spot.
Presentation: 1:00 p.m.
Chapter 70 101 with Andrew O’Leary, Assistant Superintendent of Finance and Operations at the New Bedford Public Schools
Chapter 70 is the Commonwealth’s program of state aid to public schools. Funding supports school operations and establishes minimum spending requirements for each school district, as well as minimum requirements for each municipality’s share of school costs.
School districts around the state are considering legal action to force an overhaul of the 25-year-old education funding formula. Advocates say the formula is antiquated and shortchanges districts serving students with the most need, particularly districts in older industrial cities like New Bedford and Fall River. Arguably one of the most relevant issues of equity and access, advocates say the formula in its current form widens the gap between poor and wealthy communities, does not reflect the realities of the modern classroom, and fails to give every student the opportunity to succeed.
Understanding the funding formula can seem daunting, but its basic structure is actually quite simple. Andrew will join LSC to demystify Chapter 70 so class members and alumni can become better engaged in school finance discussions and more effective advocates of change for education reform here on the South Coast.
Panel Discussion: 2:00 p.m.
Equity and Access to Resources in Education on the South Coast
All students should be afforded the opportunity to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to achieve their future goals, yet inequities in the education system continue to stifle those opportunities for many students. While Massachusetts is considered a national leader when it comes to K-12 and higher education, Fall River and New Bedford can lag significantly in comparison to state averages. Educational equality means that all students receive equal access to the same educational pathways. While this is a laudable goal, simply leveling the field is not enough. A focus on equity takes into consideration the varying personal experiences and social identifiers that impact students’ educational opportunities, including race, gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, disability, family background and others. What are the key factors that challenge equity and access in education here on the SouthCoast? What personal experiences and social identifiers impact the educational opportunities of our students? What efforts are underway to address equity and access locally? How can LSC class members get engaged in this issue to make a positive impact?
These questions and more will be explored by the following local leaders in education:
- Thomas Anderson, Superintendent of New Bedford Public Schools
- Rebecca Cusick, Chair of the Fall River Educators’ Association
- Zoe Hansen-DiBello (LSC ’13), Founder of Ethos Education Strategy Advising
- Edward Lambert, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education