Addressing education inequity requires aligning state aid to community need (Letters)

It was unfortunate to see inaccuracies in a recent article quoting Amherst town budget chief Sean Mangano about our research on equity in state education aid, “School funding report draws town’s criticism,” Oct. 8, page A10. As a regional chamber of commerce and a statewide education advocacy organization, we believe that growing inequality and economic uncertainty necessitates a statewide approach steeped in equity.

Our report shows that 14% of state Chapter 70 aid for schools (almost $800 million a year) is not based on community need. This aid goes predominantly to wealthier communities at the expense of students in less wealthy districts where the state has not fully met its responsibility to fill funding gaps. The Amherst and Amherst-Pelham school districts receive 1 percent or about $7.8 million of that total.

The recommendations in our report redirect $25 million of statewide non-needs-based aid toward communities that need it the most.

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GOP Candidate Gov. Eric Holcomb On COVID-19, Racial Inequity And Education

The 2020 campaign for Indiana governor – like so much of people’s lives – has been overtaken by concerns about the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and nationwide protests over racial injustice and police violence. Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Brandon Smith sat down with each candidate to discuss the race’s big issues.

Brandon Smith: I want to start with the thing that’s dominated all of our lives for the last six months, which I’m sure you can guess is COVID-19. Looking back over the last six months, then, is there any changes you would make – what would you change about the state’s response to the pandemic?

Gov. Eric Holcomb: Well, I certainly wouldn’t change how proud I am of the way that three different sectors all came together in a real quickness and focus. And that is, the nonprofit sector, the private sector and the government sectors – and I’m not just

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