Come hear from Governor Maura Healey as she addresses Chamber members as the 73rd Governor of the Commonwealth.
9:45am - 11:00am
The Westin Copley
Hear from a panel of professionals on how apprenticeship programs are creating a more robust and diverse talent pipeline.
3:00pm - 5:00pm
Another Age Productions
Join us for our highly anticipated Annual Meeting, Greater Boston's top business convening of the year.
4:30pm - 8:00pm
Boston Convention and Exhibition Center
Expand your DEI professional development with a virtual workshop focused specifically on LGBTQIA+ identities and inclusion.
Join our Transformational DEI Certificate! Our comprehensive learning & development offerings are designed to connect and grow strong leaders who lead both inside and out of the office.
Our Women’s Leadership Program enables you to take your leadership to the next level by arming you with the most in-demand leadership toolkit.
Our Boston’s Future Leaders (BFL) program provides emerging leaders with a socially conscious and civically engaged leadership toolkit, as well as the opportunity to apply their knowledge through experiential assignments.
City Awake empowers young professionals in a variety of ways that encourages these rising leaders to stay invested in the region’s future success.
We are developing an ecosystem of corporations and partners with the influence and buying power to transform economic inclusion for minority business enterprises (MBEs).
The Fierce Urgency of Now Festival brings Boston’s diverse young professionals together with business leaders, organizations and their peers to build connection, advance careers and ignite positive change.
BIMA (the Boston Interactive Media Association) serves a vibrant community of like-minded professionals from agencies, brands, publishers, and ad-tech companies with business interests in the New England market.
For nearly 30 years, the Chamber’s Women’s Network has connected female professionals of all background and career levels. Today, our Women’s Network is the largest in New England, strengthening the professional networks of women each year.
The Massachusetts Apprentice Network convenes employers, training providers, and talent sources interested in developing and implementing apprenticeship programs in occupations across industries and statewide in fields such as tech, advanced manufacturing, healthcare, financial services, and more.
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On October 1, 2019, the Chamber submitted testimony to the Massachusetts State Senate in regards to proposed amendments to S.2350, the Student Opportunity Act (the SOA). As outlined in the Chamber’s previously-released policy brief, the SOA proposes major reforms to the Massachusetts Chapter 70 education program, including a revision of foundation budget rates and new district planning and reporting requirements.
The Chamber’s guiding principle throughout ongoing Chapter 70 reform discussions is the need to close persistent and well-documented achievement gaps and guaranteeing that any investment will include the changes necessary to ensure results. With that view, we support amendments to the SOA that would determine adequate funding levels; hold the state, districts, and schools accountable for closing achievement gaps; and promote college and career readiness. We oppose amendments to the SOA that limit accountability and hinder our progress toward closing achievement gaps.
Support: Amendments that ensure funding adequacy, accountability, and promote college and career readiness.
Amendment #36, sponsored by Senator Tarr
Amendment #36 directs the Foundation Budget Review Commission to undertake an adequacy study of the foundation budget and its components. This study is critical to the success of Chapter 70 reforms because it is unclear how the increment amounts in the SOA were determined and how they are connected to closing achievement gaps statewide. This study will ensure that the state is allocating the appropriate amount of resources to educate our students now and in the future.
Amendment #35, sponsored by Senator Tarr
Amendment #35 requires the Foundation Budget Review Commission to convene periodically, but not less than every five years. Ongoing review of the foundation budget will ensure that the state is properly accounting for student needs and that resources are leveraged to their fullest extent.
Amendment #34, sponsored by Senator deMacedo
Amendment #34 enhances the accountability measures in the SOA by granting greater authority to the Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education to encourage school districts make progress on closing achievement gaps. For districts with at least one school that the state has labeled as requiring assistance or intervention, the amendment allows the Commissioner to require specific amendments to three-year plans aimed at closing achievement gaps. Furthermore, if a district does not have an approved three-year plan for longer than one year it can be deemed as chronically underperforming and ineligible to receive discretionary funds from the Department of Education. Districts not taking sufficient steps to implement their three-year plans can also be declared ‘chronically underperforming’.
Amendments #31, #46, and #47, sponsored by Senator Moore, Senator Gobi, and Senator Finegold respectively
Residents, businesses, and the Commonwealth benefit when the education system prepares students for college and the workforce. Effectively linking our education system and economy requires accountability and sufficient resources.
Amendment #31 requires the state and each district to include in their three-year plan targets and annual benchmarks for improving student college and career readiness.
Amendment #47 adds an early college enrollment category to the foundation budget, comparable to the one proposed in H.70, Governor Baker’s education reform bill. Similarly, Amendment #46 grants the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education the authority to designate early college and innovation pathways as vocational programs, and in turn, make these programs eligible for a foundation increment.
More robust reporting will allow districts to understand post-high school performance. Dedicated resources, which can be guided by reported data, will increase student access to innovative programs focused on career readiness, including industry-recognized credentialing and work-based learning opportunities. Expansion of and exposure to these programs during K-12 will benefit students long after graduation.
Oppose: Amendments that hinder progress toward closing achievement gaps.
Amendments #3, #4, #5, and #6, sponsored by Senator Tarr
These four amendments raise the annual minimum per pupil aid increase from $30 in the current bill to $35, $40, $50, and $100 respectively. The Chamber opposes both the codification of minimum aid in statute and efforts to raise the annual rate because minimum aid is regressive. Wealthier districts receive much more in minimum aid increases each year than lower income districts. The use of minimum aid diverts funds away from low-income communities in favor of high-income districts, hindering the state’s ability to close achievement gaps.
Amendment #17, sponsored by Senator Jehlen
Amendment #17 strikes language from the bill that requires the state and school districts to set targets and annual benchmarks for eliminating achievement gaps. The amendment also dilutes districts’ reporting obligations and eliminates the requirement that districts amend three-year plans that have been deemed out of compliance with the SOA. Eliminating these provisions would be a serious disservice to students across the Commonwealth. Without guideposts and accountability measures, there is no assurance that the SOA will close achievement gaps.
Read the Chamber’s Policy Brief on the Student Opportunity Act.
Download the Chamber’s testimony