News Flash

Home

Posted on: August 4, 2022

Rural Schools Commission Report Released

rural schools

The Commission on the Long-term Fiscal Health of Rural School Districts, known as the Rural Schools Commission, has recently released their report, making 36 recommendations regarding rural school aid, student transportation, declining enrollment, regionalization, shared services, special education, school choice and health care. This report is particularly important to communities like Amesbury that are experiencing declining enrollment, and we are fortunate that Cindy Yetman represented the American Federation of Teachers and Amesbury’s interests as a Commission Member appointed by Governor Baker.

Rural school districts in Massachusetts face unique and long-standing fiscal challenges. The Student Opportunity Act of 2019 acknowledged the need for the state to examine this area in further detail; therefore, the Rural Schools Commission was created. Their mandate was to study the long-term fiscal health of rural school districts that are facing or may face declining student enrollment and make recommendations to consider the following:

  • improving and expanding the rural school aid grant program and feasibility of including a low and declining student enrollment factor within the existing rural school aid formula; establishing and including a low and declining student enrollment factor within the foundation budget; 
  • expanding the use of technology to deliver instruction; 
  • enabling operating efficiencies; 
  • exploring the use of shared services; 
  • optimizing schools and school districts; 
  • encouraging improvement of fiscal health and educational outcomes; and 
  • other matters related to educational opportunities in rural areas subject to the discretion of the commission 

The Commission was chaired by Representative Natalie M. Blais, First Franklin District and Senator Adam Hinds, Berkshire, Hampshire, Franklin, and Hampden District. The report has been filed with the House and Senate Clerk’s office and has been posted on the Rural Schools Commission webpage here.

Quote from Cindy Yetman, American Federation of Teachers
 “I was honored to be recommended for this appointment by AFT Massachusetts President, Beth Kontos. I forged new relationships with commissioners from across the state. As chair of one of the Commission’s sub-committees, I was able to bring my knowledge of health care benefit cost management to the group, and our recommendations are included in the final report. To represent Amesbury Public Schools and offer recommendations to mitigate the impacts of declining student enrollment in communities like Amesbury was a fulfilling experience.”

Quote from Elizabeth McAndrews, Superintendent, Amesbury Public Schools
 
"I sincerely appreciate the time and effort that our AFT President Cindy Yetman put into this important work.  Her years of experience as an Amesbury educator and firsthand understanding of the impact of declining enrollments was clearly evident in this report."

Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in Home

Makers Highlight Issue 01

Makers Highlight Issue 01

Posted on: December 5, 2022
Mayor Gove with COVID19 Memorial Day Proclamation

COVID-19 Memorial Day

Posted on: March 7, 2022
News Flash - 2021 By the Numbers

Mayor's Blog: 2021 By the Numbers

Posted on: February 7, 2022
News Flash - 2030 Open Space and Recreation

I AMesbury 2030: Recreation Goals

Posted on: February 3, 2022
MVRTA Ribbon Cutting

Route 51 Change for MVRTA

Posted on: January 31, 2022
Photo of mural that says The Art of Community

Amesbury Cultural Council FY22 Grants

Posted on: January 18, 2022