Note: If your association would like to schedule a retirement workshop at your
school, your local president should call Harold Crowley at 800.392.6175, ext. 8240.
Please be aware that the M TA consultants do not have records of your service, so
members are advised to bring that information along to meetings.
AUBURN — Louise Gaskins: first Saturday (by
appointment only) and second Saturday of each
month (walk in), 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., M TA Central Office,
48 Sword St., Auburn; 508.791.2121, or at home,
BOS TON — Harold Crowley: Tuesdays,
Wednesdays and Thursdays (by appointment only),
9 a.m. to 4 p.m., M TA, 20 Ashburton Place, Boston;
617.878.8240 or 800.392.6175, ext. 8240.
BRAIN TREE — Mary Hanna: second Saturday
of each month ( walk in), 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., M TA
Metropolitan Office, 100 Grandview Road,
Braintree; 781.380.1410, or at home, 781.545.2069.
CAPE COD — Lawrence Abbruzzi: second Saturday
of each month (by appointment only), 9 a.m. to 1
p.m., Barnstable Teachers Association (B TA), 100
West Main St., Suite #7, Hyannis; 508.775.8625, or
at home, 508.824.9194.
FI TCHBURG — Robert Zbikowski: second Saturday
of each month (by appointment only), 9 a.m. to 1
p.m., Fitchburg Teachers Association office, 21
Culley St., Fitchburg; 978.790.8864, or at home,
978.297.0123; e-mail: email@example.com.
HOLYOKE — Ron Lech: third Saturday of each
month (walk in), 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., M TA Western
Office, 55 Bobala Road, Suite 3, Holyoke;
413.535.2415, or at home, 413.566.3039.
LYNNFIELD — Mary Parry: third and fourth
Saturdays of each month ( walk in), 9 a.m. to
1 p.m., M TA Northeast Office, 50 Salem St.,
Building B, Lynnfield; 781.246.9779, or at home,
978.372.2031; fax, 978.372.2035.
PI T TSFIELD — Ward F. Johnson: second
Saturday of each month (walk in), 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.,
M TA Berkshire Office, 188 East St., Pittsfield;
413.499.0257, or at home, 413.443.1722; e-mail:
RAYNHAM — Edward Nelson: third Saturday
of each month (walk in), 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., M TA
Southeast Office, 756 Orchard Street, third
floor, Raynham; 508.822.5371, or at home,
HIGHER EDUCATION AT-LARGE — Edward
McCourt, Wellesley; 781.325.2553; e-mail:
firstname.lastname@example.org (by appointment
The MTA provides individual retirement consultations throughout
the state to assist members. Proof of membership must be submitted
when requesting retirement services. This schedule is in effect from
September to June, except in the Boston office, which is staffed
during the summer and school vacations.
REGIONAL RETIREMENT CONSULTATIONS AVAILABLE
G overnor Charlie Baker’s proposed $38.1 billion state budget includes cuts to kindergarten expansion grants and
fails to build on the reinvestment in public higher
education that began to build momentum last year.
Overall, the governor’s fiscal 2016 budget
provides only slightly more in total funding for
public education — less than 1 percent — than was
allocated in fiscal 2015.
On March 4, the day that Baker unveiled his
spending plan, MTA President Barbara Madeloni
issued a statement calling the governor’s plan
“troubling for its lack of vision and absence of
meaningful investment in education and other vital
The Baker budget also seeks to shift health care
costs to many current active state employees and
all future state retirees by increasing their share of
health insurance premium costs for coverage through
the Group Insurance Commission from 20 percent to
25 percent. The increase would cost individuals $300
to $480 more per year, and family plans would go up
as much as $1,200.
In response to Baker’s budget, the MTA
sent direct mail to higher education members
that included tear-off postcards to send to state
representatives and senators. The cards urged
legislators to advocate for greater investment in
public higher education in general and to retain the
current premium split.
The House and Senate are now at work on their
own spending plans for fiscal 2016, which begins July
1. As MTA Today went to press, the House Ways and
Means Committee had just reported out its version of
the budget, which will be debated by the full House of
Representatives during the last week in April.
The Ways and Means budget does not include
an increase in the employee share of GIC premiums.
It also rejects the governor’s plan to eliminate the
Quality Full-Day Kindergarten Grant program.
It contains modest increases in some areas for
preK- 12 education, but it essentially level-funds
higher education, as does Baker’s plan, which
provides a nominal increase of 0.1 percent overall
— almost 30 percent below the amount the state
invested in 2001 after accounting for inflation.
The MTA will continue to analyze budget
proposals as they move through the House and
Senate and will post analyses on the MTA website.
Areas of the K- 12 education portion of
Baker’s budget that would see cuts include regional
transportation, $19 million; the special education
circuit breaker, $4 million; and charter school
reimbursements to sending districts, $3.2 million.
Many education programs aimed at helping
low-income or low-performing schools would be
consolidated in Baker’s budget into a “Partnership
Schools Network.” Those programs include the
English Language Learner in Gateway Cities
program, Gateway Cities career academies, literacy
programs, funding for innovation schools and the
Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System
Low-Scoring Student Support program.
Baker also would cut the Department of Early
Education and Care by $5.5 million, or 1 percent.
Chapter 70 state aid to municipalities and
regional school districts would increase by 2. 4
percent. That guarantees a $20-per-pupil increase for
each district over fiscal 2015, fully funding districts’
foundation budgets, as is constitutionally required.
The Ways and Means plan guarantees a per-pupil
increase of $25.
On March 24, the House and Senate Ways and
Means Committees conducted a joint public hearing
in Greenfield to gather input on education and local
aid, and legislators heard from two MTA members
who spoke about what happens when public education
is not adequately funded. Northampton fourth-grade
teacher Sadie Cora gave several examples.
“We used to have vice principals,” she said.
Please turn to Failure to invest/ Page 34
The 15th Annual Authors’ Institute
Discover the inside world of authors. Learn from a different
notable children’s author each day through presentations,
round-table discussions and activities.
For dates and registration, contact the office of Graduate & Continuing
Education at 508.929.8125. The cost of this program is $685, which includes
lunch. Graduate and professional development credits will be awarded.
Author of books that have become cornerstones of
learning in math and reading. Tang is the winner of
multiple awards. His titles include The Grapes of Math
and Math Fables.
Author of nearly 200 books for children and young
adults, including Lou Gehrig: The Luckiest Man and
the Andy Russell series.
Michael Patrick O’Neill
Author and award-winning photographer. His titles
include Fishy Friends, Shark Encounters and
Exploring Sea Turtles. His photographs have
appeared widely, including in BBC Wildlife Magazine.