Baltimore Mayor Catherine E. Pugh announced this month a $17 million public-private partnership with Roca, anchor business institutions and philanthropic organizations to help Baltimore’s highest risk young people disrupt cycles of poverty and incarceration.
Roca is a Massachusetts-based group that has earned national recognition for providing some of the most innovative and effective interventions for young adults most at risk for committing or becoming a victim of violence.
The program currently operates in four sites in Massachusetts (Boston, Chelsea, Lynn, Springfield) and will replicate its model in Baltimore City.
“This is a very special announcement for me because we believe the approach to violence reduction is holistic, and we want to be inclusive in our approach to reducing the violence that exists in our city,” said Mayor Pugh. “Roca is not just a program that focuses in on individuals between the ages of 17-24, it is an intense focus that helps young people move beyond violence and into the types of job training, and personal development that leads them to become more productive members of our community.”
The significant new partnership will join other efforts to proactively engage high-risk youth in the City of Baltimore, and to reduce recidivism for those who have already encountered the criminal justice system. It will be funded by a combination of private and public dollars raised by Roca and the City of Baltimore, with a request for State funding still pending.
“We are humbled by the incredible efforts in the city to bring about change,” said Roca founder and CEO, Molly Baldwin. “At Roca, we are painfully aware that we can neither arrest nor program our way out of the violence devastating this city and that we need a different approach. We are so grateful for the invitation to help and we know we have a lot to learn as we initiate our work in Baltimore.”
Currently, Roca serves over 1,000 high-risk young people in 21 communities in Massachusetts and has been preparing to work in Baltimore for the past five years. Roca plans to serve 75 young people in Baltimore during its first year and gradually increase its services to 300 young people annually over the next three years.
Roca will begin operations in Baltimore during Summer 2018. An intensive planning process already is underway.
The Tobin Bridge Chabad of Everett, Temple Emmanuel and the Walnut Street Synagogue will host a Hanukkah menorah lighting ceremony Sunday in Chelsea Square.
Hanukkah, also known as the Jewish Festival of Lights, began Tuesday night and continues for eight days.
Rabbi Yisroel “Sruli” Baron said the City of Chelsea was very welcoming to holding the event in the city.
“We reached out to City Manager Tom Ambrosino and he was very helpful and encouraging in setting up this ceremony,” said Rabbi Baron, who is the spiritual leader of the new Tobin Bridge Chabad that is housed in the former Congregration Tifereth Israel on Malden Street in Everett, just over the Chelsea border. Tobin Bridge Chabad is an affiliate of Chabad of the North Shore.
Ambrosino will deliver the city greetings at the event that was an initiative of Tobin Bridge Chabad. The city manager and former Revere mayor will also have the honor of lighting the shamash candle, which is the ninth branch of the menorah.
Rabbi Oksana Chapman of Temple Emmanuel and Rabbi Lila Kagedan of Congegration Agudas Shalom (Walnut Street) will join Rabbi Baron in leading the ceremony. The two local congregations are co-hosting the holiday gathering.
City Council President Leo Robinson will lead a delegation of Chelsea officials expected to be in attendance.
Rabbi Baron invites Chelsea residents to attend the candle lighting ceremony that will begin at 5:30 p.m.
The State Legislature has approved a major change aimed at helping those with minor criminal records from the past not be barred from getting casino jobs statewide, and particularly at the Wynn Boston Harbor resort.
Earlier this year, it became apparent that the Expanding Gaming Law was very stringent, and was likely going to bar people with minor offenses from the past from getting jobs at the casino – including jobs in restaurants or housekeeping.
Many spoke out in an effort to reform the statute, and Speaker Bob DeLeo took up the cause – including it in the Supplemental Budget last week that passed both the House and Senate.
“At its heart, the gaming law is about providing jobs and improving the economy,” said DeLeo. “I wouldn’t want to see people – particularly those who are underemployed or unemployed – barred from working in a hotel or a restaurant, for example. I’m pleased that we made the change and look forward to seeing the Gaming Commission’s work on this time-sensitive matter.”
Mayor Carlo DeMaria
“My top priority is to ensure that Everett residents have the opportunity to succeed, have a career and raise a family right here in Everett,” said DeMaria. “We all know people who have made some mistakes in their past, but now deserve the opportunity to lead productive lives. The best way to do that is to provide them with a job. I commend the legislature for passing criminal justice reform for service employees and the gaming commission for supporting this measure. Otherwise restaurant workers, hotel housekeepers, and parking lot attendants would be barred from working in a hotel because of a minor conviction.”
The Gaming Law currently has the “automatic disqualifier” provision that prevents a non-gaming employee from working in a casino – even in hotel work, restaurant work and physical plant work – if they have a felony conviction in the past 10 years. In Massachusetts now, it takes 10 years before a person can seal such a felony record and not have it count against them for things like employment in the casinos. Additionally, in Massachusetts, many felonies have a very low threshold – such as larceny over $250.
The changed language is not as specific and puts more power in the Massachusetts Gaming Commission’s (MGC) hands to vet potential employees. The language puts it at the MGC’s “discretion.”
“the Massachusetts Gaming Commission established pursuant to section 3 of said chapter 23K, may exempt certain gaming service employees by job position from the registration requirement at its discretion,” read the new language.
The language will have to be vetted by several agencies and then will go to the MGC for potential implementation.
The MGC has been in favor of such changes in letters sent to the Legislature this year, but chose not to comment for this story.
Lifelong Chelsea resident Mario Zullo (right) greets his friend, world heavyweight champion Rocky Marciano, at a Boston restaurant.
Family and friends are remembering Mario Zullo, a member of one of Chelsea’s most prominent families, as a respected business owner and a larger-than-life figure for decades who knew people from all walks of life and every corner of Chelsea.
Mr. Zullo, who had nine brothers and two sisters, died on Sept. 30, 2016 surrounded by his loving family. He was 90 years. He was the son of Christopher and Angelina Zullo.
There was a touch of irony that Mario died on the week the Jewish New Year was being observed. Growing up on Maverick Street in a city with thousands of Jewish residents, Mario had many Jewish friends who shared his love of life, knew his close-knit family well, and enjoyed the sport of boxing as much as he did.
Mario became the Chelsea connection to Rocky Marciano, the Brockton Bomber who became the heavyweight champion of the world and retired with an undefeated record. Mario served as Rocky’s publicist and confidante and the champion’s visits to Chelsea were frequent. It was Mario who brought the then-world champ Marciano to Chelsea for the Columbus Day Parade in which he and the champ occupied a convertible with then-Mayor Andrew P. Quigley.
Former heavyweight champion John Ruiz, the first Latino to win the title, also came to value Mario’s career advice and guidance.
Mario’s personality and street-smart eloquence – sometimes using Yiddish expressions – were infectious. His cleaning store, Park Cleaners, was a place to receive not only great service from Mario and his beloved wife, Elena, but to receive advice and discuss the issues of the day.
Daughter Judi Festa and her husband, William “Chuck,” and daughter Diane Zullo are proud members of the family living in Peabody. Mario’s sister, Barbara Libby, a well-known volunteer at the Chelsea Senior Center, is the lone surviving sibling.
Mario’s nieces and nephews, Angela Zullo, Michael Zullo, Richard Zullo, and twins Paul Zullo and Lisa Zullo, the children of former amateur boxing champion Michael “Mickey” Zullo and Jeanette (Fantasia) Zullo, were among the local carriers of the family’s charm, charisma, and mystique. The Zullos were generous, personable, and kind, and like their uncle and parents, the Zullo children’s warmth was genuine and welcoming to people in all communities.
Mr. Zullo had three grandchildren, Alana Rikeman, Giana Festa, and Joseph Breda.
He attended Chelsea High School and entered the U.S. Navy. He started a dry cleaning business handling the needs of the nearby Chelsea Naval Yard. He was in the dry cleaning business for decades, opening his first store in Chelsea. His store was at the corner of Park Street and Everett Avenue, just a few doors down from Kirshon Paint.
The love of his life was Elena (Cianfrocca) Zullo, who died in 2014.
“It was love at first sight,” said Judi. “They had their wedding reception at Revere City Hall. They were always together.”
Mario struck up a friendship with Rocky Marciano, who knocked out 90 percent of his opponents and held the championship from 1952 to 1956. A world-renowned figure, Rocky chose to spend a lot of his time away from the ring with Mario, whom he trusted and considered a real friend.
“Mario went to every one of his fights,” said Judi. “Rocky would train at Grossinger’s in New York and he wanted Mario to be around him.”
Part of the strong connection with Rocky was attributed to Mario’s comfortableness with people of all backgrounds.
“Mario was comfortable with people no matter what their status or caliber was,” said Judi. “When he met somebody, they wanted to be around him. The Jewish people loved him. They invited him to the synagogue and to celebrate the holidays.”
One time on a family trip to Las Vegas, Mario took a seat next to two multi-millionaires – one a businessman and the other a movie producer.
“By the time the show started, Mario had them eating out of his hand,” said his daughter. “I cannot even tell you how people just gravitated to him.”
Judi said she and her sister inherited their father’s outgoing personality and ability to connect with people. Mario was the center of attention at family gatherings, she related.
Judi said Park Cleaners became Mario’s platform, working alongside his beloved wife.
“He solved everyone’s problems at the store,” said Judi. “He made friends with everybody and knew how to make people feel important. John Ruiz became one of his buddies. Whenever you went in to the store, Mario and his wife were together. They were great dancers, too.”
Mario loved Chelsea with all his heart. “He and Andrew Quigley had a great relationship. They were very close,” said Judi. “There was a great photo in the Chelsea Record of Mario, Andrew, and Rocky riding down Broadway in a controvertible during the Columbus Day Parade.”
Mario was healthy through his later years but following a bout with pneumonia, he became a resident of a nursing home in Peabody.
“Mario’s care at the nursing home was awesome,” said Judi. “He was like the mayor of the nursing home. He would go around meeting people. I used to bring him cookies and my sister would bring him things.
“The other residents would tell me, ‘we love your father, he always has those cookies.”
From his early days on Maverick Street to the final days of a wonderful life, Mario was always giving to others and making people feel good about themselves.
That’s the Mario Zullo that Chelsea will never forget.
Around Fenway Park, fans, residents and visitors will now have a number of ways to pay tribute to the soon-to-retire Red Sox hitter David Ortiz or to fans known as Big Papi.
As part of a joint-plan between the House, Senate and Governor’s office, the House Committee on Ways and Means Committee put language out to poll as part of a supplemental budget that would rename the Brookline Avenue bridge to the David Ortiz “Big Papi” bridge.
The bridge is located between Landsowne Street and Newbury Street, spanning the Massachusetts Turnpike. It currently serves as a main entry point for many fans that travel from the Kenmore area on their way to Fenway Park.
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation will place a suitable marker on the bridge bearing the designation that will be compliance with the standards of the department.
“David Ortiz’s accomplishments and heroics on and off the baseball field have made him a living legend, and his heartfelt contributions to the communities here and in his native Dominican Republic have made him an icon,” said Governor Charlie Baker in a statement.
He continued, “As a lifelong Red Sox fan, I am thrilled to be able to help out Commonwealth create a lasting ‘Thank you’ to Big Papi through the renaming of this bridge.”
This measure is currently being held in the Senate and is awaiting a final decision.
“We thank the Governor and legislators involved in planning this thoughtful tribute to David and look forward to celebrating his career with all of New England at Fenway Park,” said President Sam Kennedy of the Red Sox.
Ceremonies put on by the Club included focusing on the work that Ortiz has down with children, highlighting what he has meant to New England and Boston, paying tribute to his career and thanking him for bringing three World Series Championships to Boston.
At a pre-game ceremony honoring Ortiz at Fenway Park this past Sunday, October 2., Mayor Walsh and the Boston Red Sox proposed the “David Ortiz Drive.”
“David Ortiz is a true Bostonian and he embodies the spirit of our great City,” said Mayor Walsh in a statement. “I am proud that the City of Boston is able to honor his career and legacy with the Red Sox and show our gratitude for all of his contributions to our community and beyond.”
The street under consideration is currently called Yawkey Way Extension that connects Maitland Street and Brookline Ave.
It is a new street built in 2013 that was given a temporary name. It currently serves as an important connection between Fenway Park and the Yawkey train station. Lining the street is a pedestrian plaza that holds all the retired numbers of Red Sox greats.
All street name changes need to be approved by the City of Boston’s Public Improvement Commission. The PIC expects to hear the petition from the Red Sox formally requesting this name change before opening day 2017.
Next Thursday (September 8th), the Boston Bruins will officially cut the ribbon on their new practice facility, the Warrior Ice Arena (80 Guest Street, Brighton) at 7:00pm. Currently a handful of B’s players have been participating in ‘Captain’s Practice.’ The grand opening will have, from the Bruins organization, Owner Jeremy Jacobs, Bruins CEO Charlie Jacobs, President Cam Neely, General Manager Don Sweeney and a few current Bruins players. Political attendees will include Governor Charlie Baker, Boston Mayor Martin Walsh, and Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo.
Following the formal portion of the event, Warrior Ice Arena will host the “Boston Youth All-Star Game featuring Bruins Alumni” with local squirt players from the Boston communities of Allston-Brighton, Charlestown, Dorchester, Hyde Park, South Boston, West Roxbury. The Youth All-Stars will team up with Bruins alumni and together they will play the first official game on the Warrior Ice Arena surface. Doors will open at 6:00pm with festivities set to begin at 7:00pm.
On the business end, general manager Don Sweeney continues to be a ‘busy man,’ announcing that the Bruins have signed four players to one-year deals. Amongst those signing were former Harvard University star, Dominic Moore, to a one-year, two-way contract. The 36-year old Moore has a lengthy travel history, having already made appearances with nine NHL teams prior to signing with Boston, the Pittsburgh Penguins, Minnesota Wild, Toronto Maple Leafs, Buffalo Sabres, Florida Panthers, Montreal Canadiens, Tampa Bay Lightning, and the San Jose Sharks. His most recent stay was last season with the New York Rangers who originally drafted Moore in 2000. The Bill Masterton Trophy winner in 2013-14, Moore was honored for exemplifying the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.
In addition, Sweeney also announced the recent signings of defenseman Chris Casto, three year Providence Bruins, forward Brian Ferlin, two-year Providence Bruin, and defenseman Alex Grant, previously with the Arizona Coyotes organization, all signing one-year, two-way contracts. July signings had: defensemen Colin Miller and Joe Morrow, defenseman Tommy Cross, former Bruins goaltender Anton Khudobin, defenseman John-Michael Liles, forwards Riley Nash, Tyler Randell and Tim Schaller. Not to be lost in the mix is the July 1 signing of free agent, winger David Backes, who spent ten seasons with the St. Louis Blues before agreeing to a five-year, $30 million deal with the Bruins. Backes’ five seasons as Captain of the Blues, should put him in a good position of a leadership role with the Bruins.
The Wynn Boston Harbor casino has a clear path to opening for the first time since announcing three years ago that it intended to compete for the Greater Boston license at its Everett site.
The City of Somerville announced on Monday afternoon that it would discontinue all appeals of the casino – saying that it had resolved a number of issues that it had with the casino during the Chapter 91 license appeal and would not choose to take the matter to Superior Court.
“The City of Somerville successfully resolved a number of our community’s core concerns regarding the Wynn casino project through our recent appeal of the casino’s Ch. 91 license,” wrote Mayor Joe Curtatone in a statement. “For this reason, we will not pursue further appeal of the license via the courts. I want to be clear; our appeal was never about stopping the casino, but rather about our civic duty to protect the health, safety, and quality of life of our residents. While we did not get everything we asked for, the appeal did yield significant and meaningful results for our residents, so we feel the process worked.”
The news was greeted happily from China by Wynn Boston Harbor President Bob DeSalvio, who received the news while helping to celebrate the opening of the Wynn Palace in Macau.
“With all legal challenges behind us, we can now focus entirely on making Wynn Boston Harbor one of the most powerful job generators and economic catalysts to ever benefit the Commonwealth,” DeSalvio said. “We are pleased to be joined with all our neighboring communities in making this a historic development for all.”
Curtatone said he was particularly pleased with ensuring that the Wynn ferry will be required to run for 50 years, the entirety of the Chapter 91 license.
“By the Wynn organization’s estimates, the ferry should reduce casino road traffic by an estimated six percent, and in one of the most congested areas of the country, every bit counts,” said Curtatone.
He also cited the decrease in the term of the Chapter 91 license, which was originally 85 years. After the appeal was announced, Wynn and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) worked together to compromise on a plan to knock the license term down to 50 years.
“This means current residents will have greater community benefits now, and the next generation will have an opportunity to reassess benefits within a more reasonable time period,” he added.
Curtatone also indicated he was ready to be a regional partner. He also said he has signed on to an agreement to that effect.
“Together with Wynn, the state, and other regional partners, we will continue to seek progress on traffic mitigation and mobility concerns and opportunities as they relate to the casino,” he said. “To that end, I would like to announce that the City of Somerville and Wynn MA, LLC, have entered into an agreement that commits both parties to jointly working to address these needs.”
He said he would like that group to continue working specifically on Regional Planning, Multi-Modal Mobility and Transportation Funding, Bus Transit Improvements and Bus Rapid Transit, Air Quality and Public Health, and Environmental Sustainability.
Suffolk County Sheriff Steven W. Tompkins and the Department recently welcomed a new group of interns for the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department Summer Enrichment Program.
Now in its third year, the Summer Enrichment Program (SEP) was created by Sheriff Tompkins in the summer of 2014 as a means of not only providing summer employment to Suffolk County teens, but also to give those interested in a career in law enforcement the opportunity to learn about the many branches of law enforcement and criminal justice through job shadowing, weekly presentations by members of law enforcement and the criminal justice community, roundtable discussions, law enforcement-related field trips, and educational tours.
Once again opening this year’s program, Sheriff Tompkins welcomed the group and spoke about the inspiration behind the creation of the program, and also about his expectations for the program’s participants.
“I am thrilled to be able to welcome you here to the third year of our Summer Enrichment Program,” Sheriff Tompkins told the group. “When we first initiated this program three years ago, we had several goals that we wanted to achieve with it. The first one was, of course, to provide Suffolk County students with employment to keep them off the streets and positively focused.
“Our second goal,” Sheriff Tompkins continued, “was to identify young people who were seriously interested in pursuing a vocation in one of the many sectors of law enforcement and the criminal justice system. The final, but equally important goal was to bring officers, attorneys, FBI agents, judges and other representatives of the law face-to-face with young people of all backgrounds so that they could have dialogue, learn from and build trust with one another, particularly in light of recent events around the country.”
Nashua Street Jail Superintendent and Special Sheriff Eugene Sumpter also presented to the students, and – as it has been in past years – for the next seven weeks, SEP members will meet with representatives from organizations that include the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigations), U.S. Marshals, the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, Massachusetts State Police, Boston Police Department, Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, the Boston Fire Department, the Massachusetts Governor’s Office, the Office of the Mayor of Boston, the courts, and others.
“As each of you look around this room at your fellow SEP members, remember that you were chosen to participate from the larger pool of applicants because of your interest and because of your professionalism,” said Sheriff Tompkins. “Seven weeks may seem like a long time, but before you know it, the program will be over and you’ll be back in school. You have a wonderful opportunity to learn from some great representatives from the law enforcement and criminal justice communities about what may be your future careers. Stay focused, pay attention to what is said and don’t be afraid to ask questions of the people that you meet during your time here.”
To learn more about the Summer Enrichment Program or about any of the other programs and services offered by the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department, visit: www.scsdma.org.
Water and sewer ratepayers can expect a nearly 5 percent increase to their bills starting this month due to a 10 percent surge in water costs, City Manager Tom Ambrosino said.
“The combined water and sewer rate is up 4.76 percent,” he said. “That’s mainly because water costs are up 10 percent this year, while sewer costs are up only 2 percent. It will mean an additional $70 for the year on the bill. The new water rate is up substantially. That is about a 5 percent increase on the bill over last year.”
Ambrosino said the Water & Sewer Enterprise Fund ran a $600,000 deficit this past fiscal year, causing the water costs to go up significantly.
“We didn’t raise rates at all in 2016, so that contributed to a lot of the deficit,” he said. “Some of the deficit is due to the implementation of the meters and tuning up of the finances. We owe some people credits and people who owed us money, we forgave half of that debt. Some of the deficit is due to that. The 10 percent increase for water this year actually won’t even cover our expenses in this fiscal year. Even with the increases, we’ll still end this year with a modest deficit, but we decided to do that because we didn’t want to raise rates too high in one year.”
There has not been a rate increase, he said, since July 1, 2015.
He said he plans to raise rates incrementally from now on in order to avoid such spikes and said residents shouldn’t anticipate any more years with 0 percent rate increases. That, he said he has learned while being a mayor in Revere, only leads to large increases in the coming years.
The City discovered a large discrepancy in its water and sewer billing system late last year due to the fact that for many years there were only estimates being applied to bills. That resulted in many people being billed too little and some being billed too much.
The City resolved to correct all problems associated with the metering issues this year using credits and the forgiveness program.
One piece of good news on the water and sewer front is the implementation of the long-sought-after senior citizen water discount.
Owner-occupants who are 65 years old and over will, for the first time, be eligible to get a 10 percent credit on their water and sewer bill.
This was requested for many years by Councillor Giovanni Recupero, who was rebuffed multiple times by the previous Council when he called for the implementation of such a program. This week, he said it was a good day for the people of Chelsea, especially the seniors.
“I always knew this could be done, but they never wanted to do it,” he said. “They said we couldn’t afford it and it was a bad idea and all kinds of things. Today, I’m happy to tell the senior citizens in our community that own and live in their homes that they’re going to get a break. They deserve a break and now they’re going to get one. We should have been doing this before.”
Ambrosino said the City is still working out the details, and that those qualifying and applying for the program will likely see the discount on the January bill.
“We’ll see how it works out,” he said. “This is year one for the program and we might eventually expand it. Seniors in the program should probably expect to see the discount on the January bill. If you qualify, you’ll see that 10 percent discount on the billings from calendar year 2016.”
The rates are as follows:
•Tier 1 combined water and sewer rate, $12.96 HCF* (4.76 percent increase)
•Tier 2 combined water and sewer rate, $14.73 HCF (4.96 percent increase)
•Tier 3 combined water and sewer rate, $17.19 HCF (5.03 percent increase)
(*HCF = Hundred Cubic Feet, which is equal to 748 gallons)
Trash fees are proposed to be increased by 5 percent across the board, but owner occupied single-family units in Chelsea do not pay a trash fee. Owners pay for unoccupied units, as do commercial property owners, churches, schools and non-profits.
The State Legislature has made efforts to fill the monumental education funding gap in Revere, Everett and Chelsea – as well as other Gateway Cities – but it has not been enough to save the schools from major cuts which are being announced this week.
The Revere Public Schools have begun to prepare for a School Budget that includes far less funding, as Supt. Dianne Kelly announced $1.7 million in cuts to the upcoming budget and the end to several long-time support programs.
Teacher and staff layoffs are likely to be avoided.
“I’ve cut $1.7 million of the budget already,” said Kelly. “We have a few less positions than last year, but about all of them have been reduced through attrition. That’s good because we’re not putting people out of work. Our commitment, for myself and the School Committee, was to make a conscious decision to focus on people. That means we’ll have to discontinue many important curriculum supports.”
One of those includes the Bay State Reading Initiative, which has been in place at Revere Public Schools for 10 years. That program has been highly successful in teaching kids to read proficiently at an early age and was credited for major gains some years ago at the Beachmont School.
Another program will be the Achievement Network.
Kelly said that is a program that helps teachers and deans crunch numbers from standardized tests – to be able to focus in on specifics.
“Now we have to figure out how to get data and crunch data ourselves,” she said. “Fortunately, we have the 5 District Partnership and we’re looking together to see how we can do something collaboratively to replicate that service.”
Kelly said the School Committee will vote on a slimmer budget than hoped for on June 7. She praised the Committee, Business Manager Matt Kruse and the City.
The budget could have as much as $2 million in cuts when all is said and done.
In other cities, such as Everett and Chelsea, City government has stepped up to add extra funding. Everett could pitch in as much as $5 million later this summer through support of its mayor and its City Council. In Chelsea, the City Budget has included an increase of nearly $2 million for the schools to help soften the blow.
In Revere, however, there are no excess funds at the City level to be able to plug such gaps with City funding.
One hope is that Gov. Charlie Baker would adjust the final budget when he signs it. The Senate had debated the issued ad nauseum last week, and some success was made, but in the end, Kelly said it wasn’t what superintendents in the area where looking for.
She said the Senate did approve some extra money in the budget that will come directly to the district and the student funding formulas were adjusted too. Still, it hasn’t eased the burden, which are the fruits of a change at the federal and state government levels in the way low-income students – now called economically disadvantaged students – are counted. The new formula only counts students whose families are receiving public assistance. It was meant to save time and paperwork, but in effect has excluded thousands of students who are very poor, but are not qualified for or receiving public assistance.
“It’s still just not enough money,” said Kelly. “I can’t help them to understand that increasing the student funding formula isn’t the same thing. To me, it’s so obvious.”