SOSWayland has done a terrific job of making it easy to contact senators regarding Chapter 70 funding and state aid. I'd like to direct anyone who hasn't seen it to their State and Federal Advocacy page. From there, they provide guidance on where to call or email, and provide sample messages on what you can say (of course, you can modify these for your own thoughts).

We have had issues in town lately that have been contentious, but this is one I think we can all unite around.

I just submitted the message below (starting from SOS' sample). I'd love to know what others are submitting!

Kim


---------------
To Senators Scott Brown and Robert Travaglini,

I am pleased by your efforts to increase the level of Chapter 70 funding and local aid over last year. Yet our funding is still significantly less than in 2003, as the state has cut education spending by 14 percent over the past four years. While funding has been cut, education costs have continued to grow, as health care, utilities, transportation costs have all grown at rates that far exceed Proposition 2 1/2 limits. I urge you, at a minimum, to sustain the level of funding as proposed in the Senate's budget.

Every state has something that is their major source of pride or their state treasure -- Wisconsin has their cheese, Texas their oil, Louisiana has Mardi Gras. We in Massachusetts have Education. But our crown jewel is slowly eroding, as even the best school systems in the state are failing (or struggling to pass) overrides, and slowly dismantling their school systems, one of our greatest sources of pride. As we have all seen in recent news reports, residents are fleeing Massachusetts for other places to live. What will make those who remain stay if our education system begins to fail?

Towns and cities across the state are burdened with high property taxes and must rely on overrides, a regressive form of taxation, as we struggle to maintain core services. This is pitting seniors against younger residents in a way that often divides communities that once stood together. Towns should not have to decide between funding their children's education or maintaining an adequate police force or reducing their public library hours.

I implore you, as an elected representative, to listen to residents of all communities and advocate for increasing the State's contribution to education and its distribution to all our children.

Respectfully,

Kim Reichelt