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iBerkshires.com Columnist Section

Sue Bush
More articles from Sue Bush

WMassCOUNTS Group Wants More $chool Funding

12:00AM / Saturday, March 03, 2007

WMassCOUNTS is a broad-based coalition of parents, community members, towns and school districts working together to develop and support creative solutions to the fiscal crisis brought about by under-funding of education at the state and federal level.

The goal is to provide advocacy and education for towns in the Mohawk Trail Regional School District and throughout Western Massachusetts in support of sustainable, adequate and equitable education for our children. WNassCOUNTS is working alongside many coalitions in statewide alliance. Partners include: Initiative for Local Aid, Coalition for Local Schools, Phoenix Project, SOS Harvard and Stand for Children.

WMassCOUNTS is launching the “RED ~ Circuit Breaker Initiative” for the FY08 House budget. This $10 million dollar initiative will provide crucial and immediate relief to restore our schools and municipalities and arrest their momentum towards financial collapse ~ 42 towns representing both municipal and regional school districts are eligible for relief.

We need your help in the way of phone calls and letters of support to the legislature and endorsement for the proposal to get it into the FY08 “House” budget.

Copies are available online at: http://www.mohawkdistrictsolutions.org/controlpanel/Files/filelist.aspx or by contacting WMassCOUNTS

For further information contact Mary or Lorena, or sign on to our listserv for community dialogue and announcements of meetings and current events: http://schools.sfindependent.net (note, no www).

In addition to our RED~Circuit Breaker Initiative, a trip to Boston to rally with Stand for Children is planned for April 25. Efforts inclide ongoing letter writing/phone outreach to the legislature, tax relief funds set-up and community education forums. Join us at our next meeting at Buckland Shelburne Elementary on March 6th 6;30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.. Childcare is available.

Citizens, whether parents, firefighters, teachers, artisans or clerks have chosen to stop fighting amongst themselves over an increasingly smaller amount of state aid and to hold the state accountable to its mandate to provide adequacy for education.

Long-term reform to the foundation formula is needed to assist Western Massachusetts communities in building a sustainable future and resident voices will help make that possible. Help restore adequate funding to Western Massachusetts towns and schools for healthy schools and a healthy economy.

More information is available by calling Lorena Loubsky-Lonergan at 413-624-3842 or Mary Link at 413-628-4695

Western MASSachusetts Coalition Of UNder-funded Towns and Schools
P.O. Box 102 Shelburne Falls, MA 01370

Lorena Loubsky-Lonnergan's recent "Letter to the Editor" is posted at www.iberkshires.com/editorials/index.php?id=8
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