Tag Archives: Governor Charlie Baker

Gordy’s parked in yum yums: What Would You do with $91 million a Year?

By Gordon Davis
The Worcester School District is being underfunded at least $91,000,000 per year. This is according to the calculations found in M. G. L. Chapter 70 and the statutes for special needs education.

The purpose of this money is to ensure that school districts with low incomes and property values receive resources similar to those of wealthier school districts. This makes sense, especially in terms of the low classroom sizes needed for quality education and for the intense educational effort needed by some special needs students.

However, for years – or decades – Worcester has been shortchanged by millions of dollars. Thinking of it as a tax refund might bring clarity. The State owes you a $2,000 refund, but only gives you $1,500. This is certainly unfair and possibly unlawful.

The excuse I most hear is the money had not been proposed in the Governor’s budget. This go along to get a long mentality is objectively harmful to the children of Worcester. I understand that several legislators have raised a fuss about the Governor’s education budget. Good for them!

I was surprised when a person who supports the Worcester Public Schools asked me what our School District would do with the money.

The answer I had for him was fairly easy, but also incomplete:

1. Ensure that special needs students get all of the resources that are required for them to be successful.  
2. Reduce the student-teacher ratio so that all students can get more individualized instruction.
3. Institute additional Advanced Placement courses to ensure that the students who are seeking college preparation get it.
4. Establish a school similar to the Nativity School in the Worcester Public Schools for children at risk.
5. Repair and modernize the school district’s buildings.
6. Establish an exam school for science and mathematics.
There does not seem to be any urgency in our delegation to the State House, members of the Worcester City Council or Worcester School Committee to get this money. In fact, I have heard only four people in the City talk about it and two of them are in CPPAC.  Another person is in the teachers’ union. State Rep. Mary Keefe is the fourth.

This money would not only help Worcester students be successful, but it would also add to the economy of the City. It would be a net gain, as more money would come in than leaves.

It would also mean scores of new jobs.

Hopefully, most of these jobs would be obtained by Worcester residents.

The additional money and the improvements to the Worcester School District would have the additional effect of helping to stop the drain of money to the charter schools.

A new exam school in Science and Math, a middle school based on the Nativity School model, additional Advanced Placement courses, and smaller class sizes should make the Worcester Public Schools even more attractive to students outside our District.

The students of Worcester would benefit more when the Worcester City Council stops its pipe dream of making Boston “jealous” and when the Worcester School Committee stops selecting candidates based on popularity.

I hope this wish list comes about within my lifetime.  

Why must Charlie be king?

By Gordon Davis

Charlie Baker, the Governor of Massachusetts, “proclaimed” yesterday that he would not accept any refugees from the Syrian Civil War.

Twenty four other Republican governors made the same “proclamation.”

Chris Christie, Governor of New Jersey, said he would not even accept a 5-year-old child. 

The actions of these governors are a political stunt.  States have zero authority in regards to immigration. Immigration is exclusively a Federal area of governance. Governor Baker has misled us in thinking that he has some power over refugees from war. This is certainly dishonesty on his part.

This dishonesty continues when His Excellency Mr. Baker uses the pretext of public safety to justify his false and malicious remarks. When he made his so called “proclamation” it was already known that not one of the attackers in France came from Syria. All of them were born within the European Union. One of the victims of the attack was from Syria. 

Governor Baker’s actions have likely done more harm than good in that it creates resentment and anger.  Already there has been some push back. There is likely to be more push back.

“His Excellency”’s actions and their pretext are further evidence of the racist tendencies of Republicans and their Tea Party constituents.

Please recall that His Excellency Mr. Baker also said he did not want Hispanic children refugees from Central America coming to Massachusetts.

There is a history of racist anti-immigrant fervor in Massachusetts:

In 1854 the so called “Know Nothing” Party aka American Party won elections and was strongest in Boston.

The Know Nothings consisted only of White Protestant men and they oppressed everyone else, including Catholics, Jews. the foreign born, women, and Blacks. Governor Baker seems to be following, at least partially, in The Know Nothings’ footsteps.

In the early Twentieth Century there was what was called the Red Scare in the United States after the Bolsheviks founded the Soviet Union in 1917. Immigrants, some of whom had socialist ideas, were arrested and deported in what are known as the Palmer Raids. Emma Goldman was caught up in this oppression and deported to Russia.

During World War II many Jews fleeing the Nazis were turned away by the United States and forced to return to Germany where they died in the Holocaust.

In the 1990s the Haitian boat people were refused entry into the United States and were forced to live for years in the Guantanamo Bay holding camp.

His Excellency the Governor of Massachusetts has shown he has little compassion and a tendency to fascism. He did not speak of the refugees as people in need.

It would make sense for the Governor to pull back his proclamation. He knows better than to follow the other Republican governors in what seems to be a locked goose step into a moral morass.

Baker should welcome the Syrians and other refugees. He should make their transition to their new homes in the United States as smooth as reasonably possible.

This governor also should be spending more time on fixing the credible problems we have, such as the overloaded DCF, the ill functioning public transportation systems, and inequities of mandatory sentencing.  It makes sense to work on the credible problems, instead of the threats that are not credible.  

Gov. Charlie Baker disrespects Mother Earth!

Boston – The Massachusetts Sierra Club issued an alert last week asking members and supporters to contact Governor Baker regarding his decision to encourage new natural gas pipelines and pay for them via a fee on ratepayers.

Since that time over 2,300 members followed through, telling the governor “Massachusetts residents want a clean energy future powered by solar, wind and energy efficiency not a doubling down on the failed dirty energy policies of the past.”

“Governor Baker ran on a platform that touted his ability to make sound business decisions,” said Cathy Buckley, Massachusetts Sierra Club Chair. “Now he is promoting pipeline projects that threaten our safety, health, economy, and climate. And he has decided that ratepayers, not the private pipeline companies, utilities, or fuel producers, will bear the financial risk.”

The Baker Administration has called for expansion of natural gas pipelines and electric transmission facilities, and reiterated this position at a meeting with other New England governors in April of this year. Governor Baker has also called for capping net metering credits which act as an economic subsidy to the solar power industry, in spite of a recommendation by the Net Metering and Solar Task Force to increase the cap.

“We believe there are more economically secure and environmentally sound ways to meet our energy needs that also create local jobs,” said Ed Woll, Chair of the Massachusetts Sierra Club Energy Committee. “We need more energy efficiency, demand management, conservation, and investment in renewables. And for those few frigid days that we truly do need more than our present pipelines can handle, we can rely on Liquified Natural Gas shipments, as we did this past winter.  Clean and renewable energy sources wean us off our already excessive dependence on the volatility of  natural gas pricing, and investment in more pipeline capacity only slows our necessary and inevitable transition to a clean energy economy.”

Said Emily Norton, Massachusetts Sierra Club Director, “Our children deserve better than a future powered by fossil fuels. This is a fight about their future. And it’s a fight we must win.”


The Massachusetts Sierra Club
Sierra Club is the nation’s oldest and most effective grassroots environmental group. The Massachusetts Chapter was established nearly fifty years ago and has a strong track record of enabling Bay Staters to “enjoy, explore and protect the planet.”

For more information visit us at sierraclubmass.org.

Youth jobs march tomorrow!

Stand with the Youth Jobs Coalition and Jobs Not Jails for the Youth Jobs Rally!

Tomorrow, Thursday, February 19

11 am

Join over 1,000+ young people in solidarity as they march from Old South Church (meet there at 11 am) in Copley Square, Boston, to the State House.

Once at the State House, there will be a rally and a meeting to prepare you for meeting with your state legislators.

Tentative schedule:

11am: Meet at Old South Church, Copley Square, Boston

11:30am: Rally

12:30pm: March to Statehouse

1:30pm: Brief legislative training on advocating for the youth jobs funding budget line item in Garner Auditorium

1:45-3:30pm: Meetings with your legislators

Governor Baker is proposing to cut $350,000 from youth jobs in 2015.

Stand in solidarity with our young people and tell the Governor and other elected officials to fund our future.

Stop the school to prison pipeline by advocating for youth jobs!

See you there!

Governor Charlie Baker’s e-mail to state employees (full text)

Public information! I kinda like the guy! – R. T.


Good afternoon –

It’s been just about 30 days since the Baker / Polito team went to work with you on behalf of the people of this great state. Suffice it to say it’s been an eventful few weeks. Let me start by thanking the folks who’ve been involved in managing the Commonwealth’s recent record-breaking snowfall. While it hasn’t been perfect – and at times, it’s been deeply frustrating for many of us (including me) – Karyn and I have been immensely impressed by the creativity, teamwork, and sense of mission many of you brought to the public safety, snow removal and disposal, local communications, debris removal, transportation and power restoration issues laid on us all by the past couple of weeks of weather. While a weather event like this may stress our resources, it also provides an opportunity to demonstrate to our constituents the critical importance of the difficult work their state government does every day. And in this instance, we mostly put our best foot forward.

I’m also assuming we’ll have plenty of opportunities to get together around these issues again in the coming months. Thank-you Mother Nature.

We’ve also filed a proposal with the state legislature to deal with the $768 MM Fiscal Year 2015 deficit we inherited. Some of our proposals can be implemented on our own, and others require legislative approval. That said, we believe they represent the right combination of revenue moves and spending reductions, and will put the Commonwealth on much better financial footing as we begin to plan for FY 2016. If the legislature enacts our proposals, FY 2015 state spending will be 7.7% higher than it was in FY 2014. That kind of year over year increase in spending will be impossible to sustain going forward, even in a relatively healthy economy. To reduce the impact on the people we serve, many of these spending reductions focus on administrative expenses. With that in mind, we’ve chosen to lead by example and have reduced the Governor’s office budget by 10 percent.

We’ve also sworn in a new Cabinet, and will continue to build out our leadership team in the coming months. While our team represents a variety of points of view, to a person, they bring solid subject matter expertise, management experience, and a big dose of professional experiences in both the public and private sectors to their chosen tasks. I want to thank all of them for saying “yes” when Karyn and I asked them to join the team.

We will have many challenges in the weeks, months and years ahead. I know this because I’ve been here before. For those of you who are too young to remember, I spent 8 years serving the Cabinets of Governors Bill Weld and Paul Cellucci in the 1990s, and learned, among other things, that every day presented its own unique set of challenges. But I also learned that with those challenges came enormous opportunity – to think differently about how to get something done, or to pursue a better, smarter, more cost effective way to provide a service. I also learned that getting something right – really right – could make a big difference to a ton of people, which in many respects, drives my interest in and commitment to public service.

We have a lot of work to do. Some of it won’t be pretty – at least in the short term. But know this, with this team, you have a leadership group that is open to change, wants to do better, and believes that success is never final. There is always a better way.

We all look forward to working with you all to find that better way.

Charlie Baker