Funding shortfall, year after year
Medford is underfunded on the order of millions of dollars every single year. Public education has been underfunded for at least 18 years when the State of Massachusetts stopped providing the Foundation budget increases as they had promised. Wealthy cities and towns have compensated for this failure by increasing taxes far in excess of the 2.5% allowed under our state's Proposition 2 1/2 law.
As the years since the state stopped providing appropriate revenue, we have deferred enormous amounts of maintenance. Maintenance has not been the only area that we have not been able to keep up - we are in need of many additional staff in our schools but simply don't have the money.
While each year the budget appears to grow by a lot, after taking into account costs such as cost of living adjustments for our employees and increasing costs of transportation and utilities we are really only seeing a small increase that can barely cover the expense of a couple of additional employees.
Significant improvements to our schools in both facilities, staffing, and programming require much more money.
I have been active with our state delegation to increase funding and to make the changes suggested in the Foundation Budget Review Commission which would result in about $4 million additional dollars each year coming to our schools.