News, schools, and views from a uniquely Lowell perspective
29th March 2010

State not awarded federal education funding

posted in Education, Money Matters, National issues |

Today’s breaking news in the Boston Globe reports that Massachusetts was not named as one of the recipients for the first round of federal education money under Race To-The Top (RTTT) funding. Many folks were surprised to discover that Massachusetts, considered to have the best public schools in the nation based on national test scores, was not included in this first round of awards. The Commonwealth had been selected as one of 16 finalists among 40 state applications; yet, according to the Globe report, only Delaware ($100 million) and Tennessee ($500 million) won in the first round, with another $3.4 billion remaining to be awarded in June.

With the Massachusetts legislature indicating cuts in state aid for schools, the federal money is highly coveted. Lowell has been told it could see a four percent reduction in chapter 70 funds, state aid for education, which means the district will face an additional $7.5 million shortfall for next year. This on the heels of more than $8 million in cuts last year as well as eight years of consistently reducing positions (about 400 less positions) as revenue has not kept pace with costs.

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