Page 8 THE MALDEN ADVOCATE–Friday, October 4, 2019 ~ Op-Ed ~ Student Opportunity Act reaffirms Commonwealth’s commitment to public education SNOW BLOWER SALES, SERVICE & REPAIRS Pickup/Delivery Available 781-289-6466 By State Senator Jason M. Lewis and State Representative Alice H. Peisch M assachusetts has a long and proud commitment to public education. President John Adams, the author of our state constitution, saw public education as the spark that would set the fire of democracy alight. Horace Mann championed the once radical idea of a free public education for all children. The Commonwealth’s strong commitment to high quality public schools has provided us with a highly educated workforce and a dynamic 21st century economy. The passage of the 1993 Education Reform Act has been credited with putting Massachusetts students at the top of national and international lists of student achievement. That legislation set high academic standards, along with assessments to measure student performance, and established a firstin-the-nation funding formula to ensure that all districts had the resources necessary to provide the education needed to meet the standards. While the standards and assessments have been periodically updated, and the funding annually increased to reflect cost increases, concern that some elements of the formula were not keeping up with inflation led the Legislature to reinstate the Foundation Budget Review Commission (FBRC). The FBRC identified four areas within the formula that needed to be updated – employee and retiree health insurance costs, special education costs, and the additional amounts provided to serve the needs of English learners and low-income students. The Legislature and Governor Baker began implementing these recommendations in Fiscal Year 2018. The Student Opportunity Act, released by the Joint Committee on Education last week, ensures full implementation of the FBRC’s recommendations over a seven year schedule, giving school districts the additional resources needed to educate students and the predictability needed to build an effective school budget. This unprecedented $1.5 billion pre-inflation investment will go a long way towards closing opportunity gaps facing students, especially for our minority and low-inOP-ED | SEE PAGE 22 WE WORK FOR YOU! * Have your car repaired by Real Manufacturer Certiified Technicians * An I-CAR GOLD CLASS SHOP Highest Certificate in the Repair Industry * Premier Insurance Co. Collision Repair Shop for Geico, Liberty Mutual, Metlife, Progressive and more! * Over 30 Years of putting families back on the Road Safe & Fast! * ATLAS Stands Behind All Repairs with a Limited Lifetime Warranty 1605 North Shore Road, Revere * 781-284-1200 Visit us at: www.AtlasAutobody.com or call (781) 284-1200 to schedule your appointment today!

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