The Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education's FY15 budget recommendations are out and they align well with the Gateway Cities Education Vision. While these recommendations reflect only the views of the Department and its board, they're an important first step in the buildup to next year's budget.
The two most notable recommendations call for increases in funding for the Commonwealth's Expanded Learning Time Grants ($14.1 million in FY14) and the Connecting Activities program ($2.75 million in FY14). Additional learning time is gaining increasing traction as necessary for helping schools with large concentrations of disadvantaged students. Connecting Activities is the state's primary program to support work-based learning. Increasing funding for the program was a major recommendation in the 2012 final report of the state taskforce on college and career readiness.
Among several other recommendations, a few stand out as helpful to achieving the Gateway Cities Education Vision: Additional funding requested for the Safe and Supported Schools Grant ($200,000 in FY14) would aid in the implementation of efforts to support the social and emotional growth of students, a cornerstone of the Vision. More resources for the Alternative Education Program, which had just $146,000 in FY14, could support the development of Early College High Schools.
- Winthrop Roosevelt
Trinity Financial takes down part of the old Enterprise building as their transformative redevelopment effort in downtown Brockton moves forward with support from an $11 million MassWorks infrastructure grant and state leases.
Writing for the Globe, Paul McMorrow reports on the momentum Worcester's City Square project is gaining moving into phase two.
Globe columnist Larry Harmon says unions need to show some flexibility to help jump-start the stalled $1.6 billion redevelopment of downtown Quincy.
The Republican reports on the Regional Employment Board of Hamden County's partnership with Springfield metal fabricator A.G. Miller. Together they are training a new generation of manufacturing workers.
Granite Block Global Data Center will bring 15 employees to 50,000 square feet of mills space in Fall River, the Herald-News reports.
In a must read Commonwealth magazine opinion column, Jim Stergios makes the case for transformative redevelopment policy while denouncing investment in South Coast Rail.
Governing reports on efforts around the nation to build more walkable cities; a new study by Gary Hack for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation study shows walkable streets are good for business.
State House News Service details bike and pedestrian projects in the transportation bond bill, the largest of which is a rail trail connecting Worcester and Providence.
Gubernatorial candidate Martha Coakley released her campaign's first education policy paper, which focuses on early and secondary public education. The Attorney General's strategy highlights the education gaps found in Gateway Cities and recommends that the Commonwealth address these problems by expanding the school day and providing better access to early education.
Springfield says it will use host community funds from the proposed MGM casino to increase access to early education.
Lynn elementary schools are running out of room, the Item reports.
Lawrence teachers ask state lawmakers to restore bargaining rights taken away when the state took over the city's schools, the State House News reports.
Paraprofessionals in the Fall River schools protested outside the School Committee meeting to call attention to the fact they have been without a contract since 2009.
The Herald News reports on efforts to create an alternative middle school in Fall River.
Lowell District Court will create the state's 19th drug court next year.
The New Bedford City Council has approved a range of safety initiatives to protect immigrants after reports of a spate of violence against the city's large Central American population.
Fitchburg residents have stepped forward to offer their talents in the Homestretch Campaign to raise money needed to complete Community Health Connections' new $20 million state-of-the-art Fitchburg Family Health Center.
The Leominster casino plan, looking to invest in medical manufacturing, goes up against the Plainville and Raynham projects for the state's only slots casino license.
Lynn Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy, Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll, and Chelsea City Manager Jay Ash back a casino in Revere, the Sun reports. Revere Mayor Dan Rizzo says the project will create 4,000 jobs, the Item reports.
The investigative arm of the Massachusetts Gambling Commission suggested that MGM Resorts be able to proceed for a bid for a casino in Springfield as long as they respond to some concerns regarding their background check.
Holyoke is making a play for "surrounding community" casino mitigation.