In full transparency, and per the SOURCE election guide, the following press release was submitted to SOURCE media.
FRAMINGHAM – Ricky Finlay, resident of Saxonville, today, June 1, announces his candidacy to continue representing District 2 on the School Committee.
“This past year has been hard on students and families. The pandemic changed everything and has brought new challenges to the way we educate our kids,” said Finlay. “As a School Committee member, I am committed to working with my fellow members to make sure we are tackling these new challenges in the best way for our students, as we collectively emerge from this pandemic.”
To continue his work on the School Committee, Ricky is focused on:
1. Bringing high quality, full time early education to Framingham: 26% of students who enter kindergarten have no preschool experience. Investing in high quality early education will give all of our kids the start they need and will better prepare them for success. I support Dr. Tremblay’s Framingham Universal Pre-K initiative and will work with him and our legislative partners to make this plan a reality.
2. Advocating for the social and emotional well-being of students: The pandemic has highlighted the growing need for more mental health support for our students. I pledge to keep fighting for more funding to provide assistant, and adding appropriate staff, such as social workers, to our schools. The well-being of our students must be a priority.
3. Advocating for a new school in South Framingham: Too many of our students are spending too long on buses traveling to school. Building a new school will further bring equity to students in South Framingham.
4. Addressing Capital Budget & Projects: Our school buildings are aging, and we need to stay on top of the growing demands on facilities. As a member of the Fuller School Building Committee and Chair of the Disability Commission, Ricky understands the importance of having a building that is safe and accessible for all. A strategic plan and appropriate budget are needed to address these outstanding projects throughout the city.
First elected to School Committee in 2009, then again in 2016 and 2017, and appointed by the School Committee and Council in 2021, Finlay has been an advocate for all students. He has proposed initiatives to make education more equitable, advocated to ensure our facilities are reflective of the vibrant work done by our students and faculty, and fought for changes in policies and state aid. His achievements include:
- Worked with the School Committee and administration to provide legislators with accurate costs of unfunded mandates so they could consider changes in policies and state aid. The Massachusetts Association of School Committees used our estimate of $22 million worth of unfunded mandates to push the Legislature to reform their lawmaking process to consider the impact of unfunded mandates before passing new laws.
- Improved communication between the School Committee and the Capital Budget Subcommittee of Town Meeting, resulting in an increase budget for safety and technology, as well for projects like the parking improvements at the Barbieri parking lot. In addition, as part of the Building and Grounds subcommittee, Ricky helped lead the process for approval of new windows for Stapleton with a 50% state reimbursement.
- Pushed for the study and possible reduction of all fees, resulting in free full day Kindergarten for all students that allowed access to quality education for all of our youngest students and elimination of the athletic opening the doors to any student who wishes to play a sport.
- Advocated for a new Fuller Middle School as a member of the School Building Committee.
Besides serving on the School Committee, Ricky is the Chair of the Disability Commission and a member of the Fuller School Building Committee. He is a former coach for Framingham Youth Football, former member of the City Seal Committee, and former member of the Board of Directors for Hoops and Homework.
Always ready to help build a local playground for kids, Ricky helped organize the construction of a new playground at Interfaith Terrace, bringing together city and business leaders, local unions and residents together.
He represented Precinct 3 as a Town Meeting Member.
Ricky is married to Patricia and proud father of Olivia, a student at Framingham High School, and Bobby, a student at Cameron Middle School. Ricky is a proud graduate of Framingham Public Schools.
To learn more about Ricky, please visit www.facebook.com/rickyfinlayfordistrict2