The Future of Public Education in Massachusetts

My name is David Whelan and I am the Char of the Swampscott School Committee. My comments are my own and not those of my fellow School Committee members.

Imagine the unimaginable. The state GOP gets its act together and actually makes public education their issue in the soon to occur Governor’s election. It is possible and the dialog should start today.

Parents and taxpayers across the state have had it with the state of our public schools. Those schools are overburdened by unfundated mandates and the special interest of the teacher’s unions. Compounding the funding problem, the party in charge has decided to “close the achievement gap” on the backs of the children in the suburbs. I make no claim that the urban districts should forgoe their funding so that the suburbs can receive additional funding. I do believe that appropriate funding for both the suburbs and our urban centers should ultimately be our goal. The present chapter 70 formula is unfair and has contributed to the incremental dismantling of school districts across the commonwealth. So unfair is chapter 70 that none other than Governor Patrick publicly referred to chapter 70 as a “broken” program. Those comments were made at two of his Town Hall meetings this summer, one in Salem and one on the Cape. The Cape video is available on you tube.

So what’s it going to be GOP? Do you want this issue to be yours because if you do it’s there for the taking. Starting today Mass GOP, make a vow to reach out to those of us on the ground and you will find that change can happen, but is starts with returning calls and listening. The alternative is a one party state and more of the same.  

About David Whelan