Western Massachusetts lawmakers form commission to fight for rural school aid

Boston Statehouse

BOSTON (WWLP) – A new commission has been formed on Beacon Hill to provide rural schools with more resources.

This commission is going to be chaired by two western Massachusetts lawmakers and both of them say their goal is to bring more educational resources back to their communities. When state leaders talk about education, they often focus on the needs of communities outside of Boston.

And, while inner-city schools face their own set of challenges the needs of rural schools often go unnoticed. 22News spoke to Pittsfield State Senator Adam Hinds who will be chairing the rural school’s commission.

“But we need to address the underlying challenges that our small schools face because they’re spending more per pupil on things like teachers and transportation as a result of their circumstances,” Hinds said.

The commission will work independently to try and identify long-term solutions to the budget problems that many rural schools face.

A big part of which has to do with declining enrollment and the inability to raise local taxes.

Now, Senator Hinds said he’s also filed a budget amendment to get more funding for rural schools. That will need to get approved by the legislature and the governor before it can go into effect.

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