With education bill-signing, cheers and challenges

State now must maintain funding and ensure it’s well spent

AFTER YEARS OF false starts and Beacon Hill standoffs on a growing funding crisis that has seen school districts shed hundreds of teachers and pare back vital curriculum offerings to balance budgets, Gov. Charlie Baker signed landmark legislation on Tuesday committing the state to $1.5 billion in new aid to Massachusetts schools.  There was a

In Mass., white pols dominate state and local politics

Study proposes even-year elections for muni races

THE PREDOMINANCE OF white male politicians in positions of power in Massachusetts may be a symptom of the way elections are run, according to a report released Wednesday entitled MassForward. The report recommends addressing the lack of minority representation in state and local government through reforms big and small, from relieving legislative staffers from the often

T board approves commuter rail vision

Calls for subway-like service on ‘most dense corridors’

THE MBTA’S OVERSIGHT BOARD unanimously approved five resolutions on Monday designed to start transforming the state’s commuter rail network into more of a subway-like system with electrified trains arriving every 15 to 20 minutes on the “most dense corridors.” The initial phase of what could be a decades-long process, according to the resolutions, would be

Commuter rail group backs big expansion

Advisory panel urges broadest, most expensive option

A 25-MEMBER ADVISORY GROUP that has been studying the future of commuter rail for the last 18 months presented a fairly united front to state transportation officials on Monday, calling for an electrified regional rail system that offers riders more frequent service throughout the day. T officials had assembled six different options for policymakers to

Expanding our Coverage on Immigration

We can't do it without your support!

Dear CommonWealth Reader, Immigration has become one of the defining issues of our time, and CommonWealth is expanding its coverage to provide its readers with the news they desperately need on this important subject. Sarah Betancourt, who joined the magazine in January, has carved out immigration as one of her main beats. A native Spanish speaker with excellent sources,

Tackling traffic, fixing the T, and saving the planet

Innovation economy attempting to take on the challenge

THE TRANSPORTATION CHALLENGES facing the Boston region have come to feel like an existential threat on more than one level. Business leaders, including Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce chief Jim Rooney, have sounded the alarm that roadway gridlock and a transit system that limps along from one problem to the next are threatening the regional

T notes: Red Line ridership slow to recover

Mayors launch push for commuter rail pilots

RED LINE SERVICE is back to normal in the wake of the June 11 derailment at the JFK/UMass Station, but ridership still hasn’t fully recovered. Data released on Monday indicate Red Line ridership overall was off 5 percent during the summer compared to last year and was down 2.5 percent in September. Charts released by

State agency offers $500,000 in place-making funds

MassDevelopment matching crowd-sourced money

MASSDEVELOPMENT IS OFFERING a total of $500,000 in matching grant money over the next 3 ½ months to municipalities and nonprofits seeking to launch creative place-making projects across the state. The money is part of a nearly four-year effort by the authority to revitalize downtowns and commercial districts by combining state and crowd-sourced funds. MassDevelopment

Long-awaited education funding bill unveiled

Calls for 'unprecedented' $1.4 billion boost in state aid, much of it to poorer communities

FOUR YEARS AFTER a state commission declared that the Massachusetts education funding formula was shortchanging school districts by $1 to $2 billion, state lawmakers unveiled an ambitious proposal that would increase state aid to local schools by $1.4 billion. The bill goes a long way toward meeting the calls of education advocates and district leaders

The ‘conscience of Boston’

Rev. Michael Haynes, Roxbury icon, MLK colleague and contemporary, dies at 92

WHEN MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. led a march from Roxbury to Boston Common in 1965 to protest school segregation in the city, his deepest connection here was a young Roxbury minister named Michael Haynes.  They met not long after King arrived from Atlanta to pursue at doctorate at Boston University in 1951. King delivered guest

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