Governor Signs Education Funding Equity Bill Into Law at English High

With English High School students gathered in a packed gym, Governor Charlie Baker signed a bill into law that boosts investment in public schools by $1.5 billion annually over the next seven years. Baker was joined by numerous elected officials and business leaders, including Mayor Marty Walsh, Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo, Boston School Committee Chairman Michael Loconto, State Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz, City Councilors Matt O'Malley and Annissa Essaibi-George, and more on Nov. 26. The Student Opportunity Act will particularly provide new funding to school districts with high percentages of low-income students and English Language learners who often live in some of the highest-need communities. “This is a monumental moment for the future of our Commonwealth.

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Sen. Sonia Chang-Díaz Fall Neighborhood Office Hours, JP on Sept. 23

State Sen. Sonia Chang-Díaz has announced neighborhood office hours for September. Office hours, held by Chang-Díaz and her staff, will take place within each of the neighborhoods of the Second Suffolk District. These office hours are a great opportunity to discuss any community or statewide issues and hear about what’s going on at the State House. Office hours will be held at the following times and locations. Please note that there are both morning and evening office hours.

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What’s Next for the Shattuck Campus?

The 70th anniversary of the law that enabled the state to treat chronically ill individuals at Lemuel Shattuck Hospital seems like an apt time to consider how our understanding of public health has changed, and how pressing the need for access to health care remains. Chapter 770 of the Acts of 1949 formalized the City of Boston and the Commonwealth’s agreement to transfer “up to 15 acres of…Franklin Park...Any land conveyed under this act shall, from and after such conveyance be held for the state department of public health, which is hereby authorized and directed to construct on such land a six-hundred bed hospital for the care of persons suffering from chronic disease, including a nurse’s home, outpatient department and other facilities.”

Policymakers then understood a general link between poverty and chronic disease incidence, which is why they agreed to build a public teaching hospital and outpatient facilities offering affordable diagnosis and rehabilitation services in the Commonwealth’s biggest city. Since then, diabetes and addiction have overtaken tuberculosis as public health threats, but the poverty-health link is clearer than ever now. We see our poorest neighbors often struggling with multiple chronic conditions (infectious and otherwise) that are impossible to treat when their housing is unstable or nonexistent. The infectious diseases that incubate among economically fragile, homeless and very sick populations rarely stay there, as San Diego and other cities have learned to their chagrin. I and others worked with state agencies in 2018 to meet your request for more transparent planning. I’ve spent the last year following the work of the Shattuck Hospital’s Community Advisory Board and neighbors to define a new service model that will ready the campus for another century of public health shifts. Those conversations between the state’s Executive Office of Health & Human Services, the Department of Public Health, and Department of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance, and the City of Boston’s Departments of Neighborhood Development and Health and Human Services and your neighbors are informed by links between poverty, housing and health. At almost every neighborhood meeting I attend with you, and in others across districts, the most common questions raised are: how anyone can afford to continue living here?

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Sen. Chang-Díaz Neighborhood Office Hours: Jamaica Plain on June 19

State Senator Sonia Chang-Díaz has announced neighborhood office hours for June 2019. Office Hours, held by Sen. Chang-Díaz and her staff, will take place within each of the neighborhoods of the Second Suffolk District. These office hours are a great opportunity to discuss any community or statewide issues and hear about what’s going on at the State House. Office hours will be held at the following times and locations. Please note that there are both morning and evening office hours.

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Chang-Díaz Leads Charge (Again) for Education Funding Reform Bill

State Sen. Sonia Chang-Díaz has been receiving an education in persistence the last few years as she has continually fought for legislation that would reform education fund across the state. On Wednesday, she led a press conference to once again announce a bill to reform education funding. Last session the House and Senate passed their own education reform bills, but couldn't agree on a funding reform package before the legislative session ended. So that led to legislators, municipalities, teachers, students and education advocates, coming together on Wednesday to promote the passage of the Education Promise Act. The bill would reform the state's education funding formula and better serve students across Massachusetts.

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