THIS WEEK’S QUOTABLE QUOTES ON BEACON HILL

By Bob Katzen

“This winter will be, at best, a very high-cost energy winter. So everybody should conserve. Everybody who has close friends, please tell them conserve … I think it’s useful for everyone to be aware of that and spread the word for conservation as much as possible.”
—Judy Chang, undersecretary of Energy and Climate Solutions in the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs.
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REQUIRE STUDENTS TO DISCLOSE WHY THEY CHOOSE TO GO TO A SCHOOL OUTSIDE THEIR CITY OR TOWN (H 704)

By Bob Katzen
Bill:(H 704) – Under current law, students can request, under the inter-district school choice program, that they be allowed to attend a school outside of where they live. Participation in the program is limited to 2 percent of all public school students enrolled. Each district decides whether it will participate in this program. For the 2021-2022 school year, 170 or 53 percent of Massachusetts’ total districts chose to participate in the program. Tuition is paid by the sending district to the receiving district.
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MEDIA LITERACY (H 688)

By Bob Katzen

Bill: (H 688) – Would require the Department of Education to integrate media literacy skills in all health and core curricular content for grades K-12. Media literacy is defined in the bill as consumption and production of media, digital products and communication technology of all kinds including news in print, television, radio, movies, music, video games, websites, advertisements, content posted on social media platforms, AI, algorithms, virtual reality and surveillance systems. And it encompasses the foundational skills of digital citizenship and Internet safety “including the norms of appropriate, responsible, ethical, healthy behavior and cyberbullying prevention, and the ability to recognize bias, stereotypes, representation and the lack of inclusion in media messages.” Continue reading MEDIA LITERACY (H 688)

TEACH PERSONAL FINANCE IN SCHOOLS

By Bob Katzen

Bill:(H 578) – Would require the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to develop and assist in the implementation of curriculum on personal financial literacy to equip students with the knowledge and skills they need to become self-supporting and to enable them to make critical decisions regarding personal finances. The components of the curriculum would include the understanding of loans, borrowing money, interest, credit card debt and online commerce; rights and responsibilities of renting or buying a home; saving, investing and planning for retirement; banking and financial services; balancing a checkbook; state and federal taxes; and charitable giving. Continue reading TEACH PERSONAL FINANCE IN SCHOOLS

REDUCED TRAFFIC FATALITIES AND PROTECT PEDESTRIANS AND BICYCLISTS

By Bob Katzen

Governor Baker has proposed amendments to a bill, sent to him by the Legislature a few days ago, designed to protect “vulnerable road users” which includes pedestrians, construction workers, emergency responders, bicyclists, skateboarders, roller skates and wheelchair users. “[The bill] strengthens traffic safety regulations, making our roads safer and taking critical steps to save lives, and reduce crashes that needlessly put people at risk,” said sponsor Rep. Christine Barber (D-Somerville) when the House approved the bill on September 12 and sent it to the governor. “With an emphasis on enhancing safeguards for pedestrians and bikers, the commonwealth positions itself as a leader in road user safety and promotes alternative modes of transportation.”
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