Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Unions kill our chances for 250 mill in education money

Washington has passed our State over for that 250 million dollars (Race to the Top competition) funding. According to the Globe, Mass may have lost points for requiring union consent on enacting some plans to overhaul under performing schools and for not changing state law to allow for unfettered growth of charter schools. Our state can apply again in June for a slice of the 3.4 billion left over, but it appears that our elected eleite who cater to the union demands, will once again, leave our state at a disadvantage as our school budgets continue to decrease.

Tax breaks in Mass a secret

Some of this states biggest companies are applying for millions in tax breaks, all in secret according to the Globe. The obscure state Economic Assistance Coordinating Council is keeping the size of incentives away from public scrutiny. These tax breaks are based on how many new jobs will be created and as we all know from previous posts, many of the companies that have received millions in tax breaks have not done for the State what they had promised. Pam Wilmont from Common Cause has raised the red flag on this and says it's the public right to know, who is getting what, how much and what for.

State Sec Galvin has said the council cannot be exempt from open meeting laws, but he and AG Coakley have declined to do anything about it. Under pressure. the council will now post times and places for public meetings, but this council needs to be eliminated and companies can apply for tax breaks in local communities.

Denial in Hadley, they could have done something

As more details emerge in the suicide death of a Hadley school student, one thing is for sure, school officials knew, parents knew and no one did much to help stop the painful bulling that caused Phoebe Prince to take her own life.

As prosecutors now have charged 9 teenagers with various crimes, including statutory rape, parents are outraged over what they feel is a complete breakdown of responsibility amongst school officials. Stopping short of charging any adults in this case is the real travesty. The school even expelled some of the core group of bullies as far back when the first complaints were reported.

While legal experts expect these cases to be very hard to prosecute, in civil court, the hurdles are less and I hope each and every parent and school official involved is taken to the cleaners. All those who knew and did nothing at the school should be terminated and run out of town. And the parents of those who plead ignorance and knowingly let their children do harm to others at school should be made to take parenting classes and charged as accessories.

It is beyond sad to see how parents have defended their childrens role in all this. Even more outrageous is the lack of responsibility the school is accepting.

Framingham Candidates Forum

Thanks to Norma Schulman and FPAC TV, you can see the video on FPAC-TV.org of the candidates forum that was sponsored by the League of Women Voters, last week in the Town Hall.

It's also seen on all the cable providers, Verizon,, ComCast and RCN starting 3/30 through 4/8.