Two pieces of legislation, one from the state House and Senate and another from the corner office, seem to address the same problem — the state’s outdated education funding formula.
State Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz (D-Boston) filed a bill along with state Reps. Aaron Vega (D-Holyoke) and Mary Keefe (D-Worcester) and called for it to become law before the next school year in a press conference Tuesday. The bill would update the state’s education funding formula, which hasn’t been touched since 1993, including equity provisions for low-income and English learner students.
The bill, called the Education PROMISE Act, would implement all five recommendations of the bipartisan Foundation Budget Review Commission (FBRC), which found that in 2015, Massachusetts schools were underfunded by between $1 billion and $2 billion.
Gov. Charlie Baker said he would be filing legislation of his own to address the same issue during his inauguration.
“I’ve now been in this building for 10 years as a senator and I can tell you without hesitation that where there’s a will there’s a way, so no, I don’t worry about that,” Chang-Diaz said of the competing bills. “We’re going to have a healthy ‘small d’ democratic debate about this.”