Restore Crucial Local Aid sign now

We the undersigned urge the Massachusetts Legislature to give the cities and towns in the Commonwealth at least the same ammount of local aid in 2006 as it did in 2002. The State budget has grown over 8\% since 2002, there is no excuse for less local aid in 2006 then in 2002.

Local Aid pays for the most basic services Massachusetts citizens expect. Schools, fire and police are not services Massachusetts can afford to cut. As the Globe investigation into Massachusetts fire departments showed (Slower arrival at fires in US is costing lives-1/30/05) underfunding fire departments costs lives. By not adaquatly funding local aid Massachusetts is putting its citizens in harms way. How many other parts of the Massachusetts budget save lives?

The cuts in local aid have been devastating to Communities. The Massachusetts Teachers' Association's report "Progress in Jeopardy" noted that Massachusetts schools have lost over 2,160 teachers and three out of five school districts have increased class sizes

The effects of local aid cuts are already manifesting themselves in lower test scores. Somerville High school has seen its failure rate for the 10th grade English MCAS go from 3\% bellow the state average in 2002 to 10\% above it in 2004. In Haverhill, the failure rate went from 2\% bellow the state average in 2001 to 4\% above the state average in 2004. Local aid cuts have hurt both of these school districts.
The 2002 cuts cannot be maintained. Massachusetts cut more school funding then any other state in the country, slashing 15\% when the National average was 5\%. Fire response is going down every year. Massachusetts cannot reasonably ask cities and towns to do more with less four times in a row. These cuts must be reversed before there is permanint damage to our state.

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Clarice GillespieBy:
HealthIn:
Petition target:
Massachustts State Legislature

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