Rally to Fund Music in School

In the USA many billionaires pay no taxes. Meanwhile in the Pioneer Valley town of Orange, due to budget cuts, music will be gone from the public schools – unless activists get the music money back into the budget. On July 8 there was a rally in Orange. About a dozen people were there. Stephanie Parker organized the rally. On July 9 she told the Valley Post, “School committee members need to think seriously about music. We want to push them to put it on the agenda.”


Many Quit at School With Few Walls

A public high school near Brattleboro has about 350 students, few walls, and a high dropout rate. Most of the class “rooms” at Bellows Falls High School are separated only by makeshift barriers including bookshelves and the kind of low partitions usually found between office cubicles. “The noise was distracting,” Sam Bledsoe said. “Usually I could tune it out, but if the teacher in the next ‘room’ was talking loudly it would completely take you out of what you were supposed to be learning.” Bledsoe went to Bellows Falls High for four years and graduated in 2006.

A Teacher Speaks Out on How to Save Students' Lives

It’s not every day that the world’s most famous newspaper publishes an article about South Hadley, Massachusetts. But that’s what The New York Times did on March 30. It took the disturbing death of a school girl to make that happen.

Phoebe Prince was a 15 year-old student at South Hadley High School (near Northampton) when she hung herself in January. On March 29, several students at the school were charged by District Attorney Elizabeth Scheibel with the felony crime of bullying Prince so severely that she killed herself.

UMass Says It May Raise Cost of College; Citizens Fight Back

A citizens’ group is fighting plans by UMass to increase the cost of college. Members of the Public Higher Education Network of Massachusetts (PHENOM) are lobbying the state legislature to increase funding for UMass. “Only two states spend a smaller percentage of their revenues on public higher education than Massachusetts,” said PHENOM spokesman Ferd Wulkan.

The chair of the UMass board of trustees, Robert Manning, said earlier this month that the university system may raise student fees. Manning spoke at a board meeting on Oct. 1 in Amherst.