Rural schools develop state aid proposal

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Article Author: Diane Broncaccio
Publication Name: The Gazette
Article Date: 9/30/2016
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BUCKLAND, MA — Saying about 50,000 rural students attend public schools that are in “severe fiscal crisis,” Mohawk Superintendent Michael Buoniconti will ask the Massachusetts Rural Schools Coalition to review a draft proposal that seeks more Chapter 70 state aid for rural schools with the highest enrollment declines, the lowest per capita income and flat-level state aid to education.

The meeting of rural school district superintendents will be held at the Mohawk Trail Regional School on Tuesday.

Superintendent Michael Buoniconti distributed information to the Mohawk School Committee stating that state education aid is “designed for urban districts,” and not for rural districts with miles of terrain and sometimes with fewer than 25 people per mile.

Buoniconti said rural Chapter 70 aid was an idea that came out of the Long Range Planning Committee, a group of mostly member-town officials who studied ways to make the district more financially sustainable. Buoniconti said this was a first draft, being sent to other rural school systems, who were also being asked to share it with their school committees for additional comment.

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