Sunday, October 19, 2008

EVENT: Tuesday, Oct. 21---Education Board Weighs In On Question 1

9:00AM at Holyoke High School, 500 Beech St., Holyoke

Public education policymakers will get a chance on Tuesday to weigh in on one of the hottest topics on Beacon Hill: a question on the November ballot eliminating the state income tax. Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester has provided members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education with documents outlining the arguments for and against the initiative, along with a bulletin from the Office of Campaign and Political Finance that outlines how public officials can handle talking about a ballot question. A vote taking a position on the ballot question is possible. Maura Banta, a manager at IBM and chair of the 11-member board, told the News Service after the September board meeting that the initiative is “something the board will take a stand on.” The discussion of the initiative comes at the urging of Ruth Kaplan, a member of the Massachusetts Parent Teacher Association and a Patrick appointee. Patrick has said he would “struggle” with implementation of the question should it pass. The board will also discuss the MCAS results for 2008, educational proficiency plans, a state accountability and assistance system, and charter school amendments.

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