Baker comes up with South Coast Rail financing

Completion date moved back a year to late 2023

GOV. CHARLIE BAKER followed through on a first-term campaign promise on Monday by dedicating more than $1 billion in state bond funds to the South Coast Rail project, which is now expected to be completed after his second term ends. The funding commitment followed three cost and schedule reviews of the commuter rail project and

A third way on the school funding/accountability debate

The answer isn’t more state rules but greater local oversight

BEACON HILL LEADERS are searching for ways to provide public schools with a significant infusion of new dollars. Taking a page from Massachusetts’s landmark 1993 Education Reform Act, some have proposed attaching higher levels of accountability to any new funding. Others are not so hot on this idea. After all, they reason, the state skirted

The healing power of art

Therapists who use creative outlets to help patients process trauma seek licensure

THE YOUNG GIRL had endured bullying and been called ugly. She was told she had a unibrow by one of her male classmates. At her therapist’s office, she was “withdrawn and disengaged.” She refused to finish a self-portrait she had started the previous week, instead picking up another piece of paper and painting two eyes

Local accountability in schools lacking, says report

Study urges stronger goal-setting by districts and schools

MASSACHUSETTS HAS BUILT its school reform effort on a combination of new state funding and accountability measures that track student and district achievement, but that has largely let local districts off the hook for setting ambitious goals of their own and holding themselves and schools responsible for meeting them. That’s the conclusion of a new

The life (and death) stories that drive Andrea Campbell

Boston city council president has turned incredible adversity into strength

ANDREA CAMPBELL’S TWIN BROTHER Andre died seven years ago while awaiting trial in the custody of the state Department of Correction, and she says that has everything to do with how she wound up on the Boston City Council. The 36-year-old Mattapan resident says government needs to share more stories. By that she means we

House bill quietly filed on education funding

Added payments for low-income students emerging as key difference

WHILE BIG EDUCATION funding bills filed by Gov. Charlie Baker and a key state senator have garnered lots of attention, a third school financing bill was quietly filed in the House last week that also proposes a sweeping update of the state’s 26-year-old education aid formula. Rep. Paul Tucker, a Salem Democrat, submitted legislation hours

Riley proposes novel solution to charter school battle

Education officials hope agreement on New Bedford school will be a model

WHEN JEFF RILEY was named state education commissioner a year ago this month, he vowed to try to heal the divisions that have plagued the education world — between charter school advocates and foes, between those in favor of high-stakes testing and those looking to end the state’s testing regime. In his first big stab

Momentum growing for ed funding bill

Will measure include other reform provisions?

SIX MONTHS AFTER the clock ran out on negotiations to revamp the state’s education funding formula, a broad coalition of lawmakers, mayors, and school leaders unveiled legislation on Wednesday to finish that work in the new session now underway on Beacon Hill. “There are no more excuses,” said Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz, co-chair of the Legislature’s

Rollins brings mandate for change – and blunt style – to Suffolk DA’s job

With reform talk in the air, Boston’s new prosecutor prepares to take the reins

RACHAEL ROLLINS DEFIED expectations when she rolled to a decisive victory this fall in the race for Suffolk County district attorney. She won a five-way Democratic primary, outpacing a field that included the favorite of the law enforcement establishment, and went on to trounce an independent candidate in the November general election. The seat was

What’s next for the T?

Newsmakers event recap

The staff of CommonWealth magazine and MassINC would like to thank those who attended “Newsmakers” on November 27, which provided us with the opportunity to connect headline-makers to headline-readers in discussing the future of the MBTA. We would also like to extend our gratitude to those who gave generously during our fundraising campaign. We are

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