Senator Patrick Announces Education Plan
On December 19, 2012, Sen. Dan Patrick, chair of the Senate Education Committee, announced his plans for public education. Glaring was the omission of any mention in the hour-long press conference of restoring funding to public schools. Proposals included a voucher plan, couched as a business tax credit, greater school choice across and between school districts, lifting the cap on charter schools, implementing a “parent trigger” option, increased investment in technology (including blended learning), tweaks to the admittedly broken testing system, an A-F grading scale for schools, and closing schools that are academically unacceptable for two years (rather than the current six-year timeline). The final proposal could result in the closure of hundreds of schools, with the potential of converting them to charter schools.