The following are the prepared remarks that Framingham Mayor Yvonne Spicer read today at the Massachusetts State House in support of House of Representatives – An Act to promote equity and excellence in education. SOURCE requested the testimony to publish.
Thank you Chairwoman Peisch. Thank you Chairman Lewis.
Thank you to all the members of the committee and to Senator Chang-Diaz for her sponsorship of Senate Bill 238 and to my state delegation, Senate President Spilka and Representatives Jack Lewis and Maria Robinson for their unwavering support of education.
I echo my colleagues in saying your leadership and work in the legislature regarding education finance is important and appreciated.
While it’s true Mayors Walsh, La Chappelle and Rivera and I represent different cities, we are united along with the other Mayors across the Commonwealth in the belief that access to an equitable education is the fair reform that our children deserve.
Massachusetts is known for its superior educational institutions and commitment to excellence.
As Mayors, we stand united in the belief that we are fighting for our children’s future, regardless of socio-economic status.
In Framingham, we strive to be a city where every child can and will reach high levels of achievement. Our city is enriched and strengthened by its diverse cultural heritage and multi-ethnic population.
We want our students to feel safe in taking academic risks by being scientifically and technologically literate.
To do so, we must foster supportive and collaborative partnerships between the families, schools, the state and municipalities across Massachusetts.
Framingham’s public school system consists of (14) Pre-K-12 schools, serving nearly 9,000 students. Our children make up a diverse group of pupils. 45% of our students benefit from English as a Second Language (ESL) programs, 22% have learning disabilities and 57% are designated high-needs students.
Despite the level of assistance we currently receive, we, like many of the surrounding districts, are struggling to meet the needs of a growing and diverse population.
An investment in education is an investment in our economic future. Having adequate funding will put resources into our schools, which provide the most vulnerable students with the best opportunities for success.
For this to be accomplished, it cannot be at the expense of other city services.
I stand united with my colleagues to ask for an open dialogue that keeps our children at the forefront, while keeping the promise of a brighter future. We hope for an inclusive solution for the betterment of our children no matter which school district they live in.
As leaders we are charged to move our cities forward and education is the cornerstone. I am committed to partnering with you to achieve this goal.
Thank you for your time and your dedication to our children and our future.