Senate calls for ed funding formula revamp

Lawmakers say the state is not making good on promise of 1993 reform law

STATE OFFICIALS ARE marking the 25th anniversary of the landmark 1993 education reform law with a statewide set of events being held under the banner “Leading the Nation,” a reference to the top performance of Massachusetts students on national achievement tests. But the boasts and bows are colliding with an inconvenient truth: The state’s students

50 years of walking for hunger

'Food insecurity' on the rise in Mass. as annual walk approaches

This Sunday marks the 50th annual Walk for Hunger, the massive fundraising event put on by Boston-based Project Bread to support food pantries and other programs. The event draws thousands of people, who gather pledges and then set out on the 20-mile course that steps off from Boston Common and makes its way to Newton

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Criminal justice bill reaches finish line

Baker signs comprehensive legislation, while signaling concern with parts of it

GOV. CHARLIE BAKER signed sweeping criminal justice legislation on Friday, capping several years of discussion on Beacon Hill and casting Massachusetts squarely in the national wave of rethinking tough-on-crime laws of the 1980s and 90s. Flanked at the State House by more than a dozen lawmakers from both parties, Baker said, “Viewed as a whole,

CommonWealth’s Spring 2018 issue is out!

Read the rundown

Here’s a rundown of what’s in our spring print issue, which is in the mail and available online. You may have heard something about infighting in Fall River between wunderkind Mayor Jasiel Correia and the city’s political establishment. Now get a sense of what’s really going on. Ted Siefer portrays a mayor who isn’t letting

Major justice reform bill clears Legislature

Signals shift in focus from punishment toward rehabilitation and substance use treatment

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE WITH ONLY A WHIFF of opposition, the Massachusetts Legislature on Wednesday passed a broad package of criminal justice system reforms that have languished for years, signaling a likely shift in focus away from punishment and toward rehabilitation and substance use treatment in an effort to reduce recidivism. The legislation (S 2371), which

TransitMatters pushes ‘regional rail’

Would transform commuter rail into subway-like system

TRANSITMATTERS, a nonprofit known for delving into the nitty gritty of very specific transportation issues, went in a different direction on Tuesday, releasing a sweeping report calling for a multi-billion-dollar overhaul of the state’s commuter rail system over the course of a decade or more. Dubbed regional rail, the ambitious proposal calls for transforming a rail network

McAuliffe says she’ll be the ‘progressive change candidate’ for DA

Boston attorney cites lifetime commitment to social justice

SHANNON MCAULIFFE may have to shift gears from a campaign that was preparing to challenge a 16-year incumbent to what is now a wide-open race for Suffolk County district attorney, but the veteran defense lawyer and youth services manager says there will be no shift in her message. “The gap between what we should be

Riley’s collaborative ways

The Codcast

Jeff Riley won the backing last week of the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to be the next state education commissioner based in large part on his work over the last six years as the state-appointed receiver for the Lawrence schools. If somebody can show real gains in what was arguably the lowest-performing,

Commissioner pick will signal direction for education policy

3 finalists each bring a different profile

WHEN THE STATE education board convenes next Monday to vote on a new Massachusetts education commissioner, its members won’t just be sizing up the three finalists for the job. They will be making a statement about the direction of state education policy going forward. The decision will come at a time when Washington is stepping back from the

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