Governor Baker Touts Senator Lesser’s Bill in State of the Commonwealth Address

BOSTON — Tonight, Governor Charlie Baker delivered his State of the Commonwealth address and singled out for praise a bill introduced by Sen. Lesser.

“To assist struggling schools, we’ll work with Representative Peisch and Senator Lesser and their colleagues in the House and Senate to create more ‘empowerment zones,’” Gov. Baker said.

“These zones create more flexibility in schools and allow educators to make the changes necessary to provide a better learning environment for our kids. In Springfield, this model is already making a positive difference for teachers and students,” he added.

Lesser’s bill, An Act Relative to Innovation Partnership Zones, empowers school districts to improve school performance by enlisting an independent board of directors and elevating teachers’ voices.

“I look forward to working with Rep. Peisch and the Governor on this to give our students greater opportunities in their education,” Lesser (D-Longmeadow) said. “As the Governor said tonight, school empowerment zones have shown positive results in Springfield. They are just one example of the creative solutions we can find when we work together.”

Nine middle schools in Springfield are currently in an Empowerment Zone Partnership, and have shown progress in their goal to upping students’ scores in math and English.

Lesser’s bill is a companion bill to one introduced in the State House of Representatives by Rep. Alice Peisch (D-Wellesley).

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