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METCO Petition Signing Day in Wakefield

posted Feb 17, 2017, 5:26 AM by Joel Villegas   [ updated Feb 17, 2017, 5:27 AM ]
The METCO Advocacy Committee (MAC) is planning a METCO Petition Signing Day for Monday, March 6, 2017, @ The Savings Bank in their OFB1 Community Room from 3 pm - 6 pm. This event is taking place a week before METCO Lobby Day at the State House.

The purpose of this event is to:
Educate/inform the community on METCO funding
Have students talk about the program and what it means to them
Collect signatures for increased funding
Have people send emails or write to Gov. Baker

We encourage METCO parents, students, and the host community to submit letters/e-mails and place phone calls to Governor Baker. Please express your support of the METCO program and advocate that he demonstrate his commitment to Massachusetts students by supporting METCO’s funding request of $23M for FY18.

For 50 years, METCO has proven its success and brightened the future of thousands of Massachusetts’ children by raising college attendance rates, integrating classrooms, and crafting productive, tax-paying citizens of this Commonwealth. In the face of costs that continue to rise, state funding levels have remained relatively stagnant. In addition, while transportation costs have increased significantly for METCO districts in recent years, the transportation allotment per student has not been increased since 2008.

A 2016 report released by the Executive Office of Education once again affirmed the success of our students showing that the four-year graduation rate of METCO students has surpassed 98% and has consistently exceeded or equaled the graduation rates of their peers in both sending and receiving school districts. The report also found the percentage of METCO students who indicated their intent to pursue postsecondary educational opportunities was above 92%, exceeding the statewide average on college intentions by over 10%.

The METCO program needs this level of funding to continue to maintain this high level of success.

PLEASE CONTACT GOVERNOR BAKER AND REQUEST THAT METCO RECEIVE $23M IN FUNDING IN THE GOVERNOR’S FY18 BUDGET.

ACTION STEPS:

1. Contact Governor Baker:

a. Email a letter to Governor Baker at: constituent.services@state.ma.us.

b. Mail a letter to Governor Baker at: Massachusetts State House Office of the Governor Room 280 Boston, MA 02133

c. Call Governor Baker’s office: 617.725.4005



*Please consider using this draft to help frame your request:

Dear Honorable Governor Baker.

Thank you for your continued support of the METCO program in the Commonwealth. We ask that you support METCO funding of $23M for the METCO program in your proposed FY18 budget.

As you know so well, for fifty years, the METCO program has been transforming the lives of hundreds of thousands of students by providing access to quality education for urban students and fostering more diverse classrooms in 190 suburban schools located in eastern and western Massachusetts.The METCO program is in need of this level of funding in order to continue to maintain this high level of success. The program’s transportation and education costs continue to rise every year, while state funding for METCO has remained relatively stagnant.

In the FY17 General Appropriations Act (GAA), the 37 participating communities received $4,066 per student in education funding plus a transportation allotment for the over 3,300 METCO students they educate. The METCO Advisory Committee has recommended $5,000 per student plus transportation. In addition, between FY01 and FY17, Chapter 70 funding has increased by over 50%, compared to an increase of only 31.5% for METCO funding in the same time period. There has been no increase in the transportation allotment for METCO since 2008.

We understand that the Commonwealth’s fiscal challenges continue and that you continue to analyze tax receipts and revenue projections for FY17 and FY18. However, the broader success METCO could achieve for underserved students with adequate funding, and the implications that a narrowing achievement gap will have on the future economy of our Commonwealth, more than justify this investment.

Thank you again for your support of the METCO program and all of the Commonwealth’s students.
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