WILMINGTON, MA — Wilmington Apple is asking weekly questions to the seven candidates running in contested primaries for the Wilmington/Tewksbury State Representative seat (19th Middlesex).Below, in her own words, are the responses to this week’s questions from candidate Erika Johnson (D-Wilmington).#13) The Massachusetts education funding formula hasn’t been updated in 25 years. This Chapter 70 formula fails to provide the funding needed for school districts to fund core expenses. The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center published a report last week (“Building An Education System That Works For Everyone: Funding Reforms To Help All Our Children Thrive“) detailing the problem. The Wilmington & Tewksbury School Committees have long advocated for the State House to update the Chapter 70 formula. Do you commit to fighting for an updated formula? What else will you do as State Representative to help our public schools?Education is the key to the future, therefore, our public schools deserve to be well-funded if not, fully funded. The current formula, Chapter 70 is outdated and absolutely needs to be updated. The formula, as it stands, is stacked against students in low-income communities.I have heard from several teachers along the campaign trail who tell stories of how much they’ve spent out of pocket to be able to provide their students the best education possible, it’s eye-opening. Our teachers need better support and the resources needed to provide a world-class education for all students.I was a strong proponent of the Millionaires tax, a ballot initiative that was recently struck down by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court on a legal technicality (not the substance of the bill). This tax would have increased taxes for those receiving an annual income of over $1 million and all revenue would fund public education and public transportation. Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to hear Democratic Gubernatorial candidate, Jay Gonzalez speak at an event hosted by the Burlington Democratic Town Committee at which Gonzalez expressed that he would support a bill along the lines of the Millionaires tax that taxed the richest in Massachusetts to fully fund our public schools and public transportation, a measure I would be happy to champion if elected.There is currently a bill “S. 308: An Act Strengthening and Investing in our Educators, Students and Communities” that would update the Chapter 70 funding formula, mandates a moratorium on and replacement of the state’s high-stakes testing regime, promotes community collaboration in improving schools, and provides services critical to student academic and social-emotional development, such as recess for grade-schoolers and appropriate bilingual education services for non-native speakers (Summary provided by the Massachusetts Teachers Association). I fully support this bill as I believe it will vastly improve our public education system in Massachusetts for all students and urge our Legislature to act on this bill.I am also supportive of keeping the cap on charter schools, as I proudly voted “No” on Question 2, one of the ballot initiatives in 2016. Charter schools take taxpayer dollars yet are run by nonprofit or for-profit organizations and are exempt from regulations put forth by state and local boards of education in curriculum and hiring practices. Raising the cap or funding for charter schools takes away money and resources for our public school children with no accountability.Every child living in Massachusetts has the right to a quality public education that prepares them for current and future job markets. With that said, we must be sure that with any update to education funding, we are advocating for every child – regardless of their zip code, household income, if they are English Language Learners (ELL), if they require special education or Individualized Education Program (IEP), etc.#14) Define “negative campaigning.” Do you pledge not to engage in any negative campaigning during this election? Why or why not? When responding to an attack, will you follow the “when they go low, we go high” Michelle Obama mantra or the “when someone attacks me, I always attack back… except 100x more” Donald Trump mantra?I do not plan to engage in negative campaigning during this election. With so much on the line for our district, it is important to stay focused on the issues not personal attacks.I will be taking Michelle Obama’s approach, “When they go low, we go high”.(NOTE: Do you have a question for the candidates? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and it may be asked in a future Q&A or in a debate.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email email@example.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedSTATE REP RACE Q&A: Pina Prinzivalli Discusses Education Issues, Negative CampaigningIn “Government”STATE REP RACE Q&A: Mark Kratman Discusses Education Issues, Negative CampaigningIn “Government”STATE REP RACE Q&A: Judy O’Connell Discusses Education Issues, Negative CampaigningIn “Government”
Ruling Bangladesh Awami League eying a third-term in office may not nominate about 100 of its current members of parliament (MPs) for contesting the upcoming general elections, party leaders have indicated.The MPs who have earned certain notoriety, or become controversial due to corruption and drug trade, and those who have lost popularity or turned extremely old, may not be considered for the electoral contest.The ruling party has decided to change the candidates as part of its preparations to face the principal opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) which, it believes, is mostly likely to join the elections this time.“Those who have been controversial or committed corruption will not be given nomination,” said AL presidium member Pijush Kanti BhattacharyaHowever, some senior leaders said, a few controversial figures in the ruling camp may still be chosen as candidates to overcome possible tough challenges coming from the BNP.Based on reports prepared by different government sources, AL president prime minister Sheikh Hasina is learned to have concluded that more than one-third of the ministers, state ministers and MPs have lost their popularity.“It’s only natural that the Awami League will be criticised more than any other party since it has been in power for 10 years. The party wants to present the people with surprise by fielding fresh candidates,” a member of the AL nomination board told Prothom Alo.The leader said the ruling party wants to create an impression that the AL does not ‘like’ tainted candidates. “So, this time, the first and foremost criterion for nomination is popularity of the candidate in the constituency,” the AL leader pointed out.Accordingly, the ruling party leaders said, around 80 to 100 MPs including ministers and state ministers would be ignored while giving the AL nomination.The AL has 233 MPs, out of 300 seats meant for direct voting, in the current parliament constituted through 2014 elections boycotted by the main opposition parties including the BNP. As many as 153 MPs were elected uncontested.AL leaders made a broad hint that many of those who were elected without contest would most likely be dropped.If the BNP ultimately joins the electoral race, the AL will share seats with the alliance partners.The AL general secretary Obaidul Quader told newsmen recently that the alliance partners would be given 70 seats or so in the coming elections.*This report, originally published in Prothom Alo Bangla online, has been rewritten in English by Khawaza Main Uddin
Kolkata: Welcoming the Supreme Court verdict restricting the use of Aadhaar cards, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who is presently in Milan, said: “It is a victory of the people of this country, and we are very happy.”Later, Banerjee tweeted: “From day one we have fought for this. Not linking #Aadhaar to mobile phones, bank accounts and others is a great relief for the common people. My best wishes to all.” “From the first day, I am against linking of Aadhaar with banks and mobile phones. There is information which the state government should preserve. We are not questioning that, but linking of Aadhaar with banks and cell phones cannot be supported as there is every possibility of the information being leaked out,” she said, adding: “The Supreme Court judgment has confirmed today as true what I have been telling all these months.” Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeShe said Trinamool Congress MLA Mohua Moitra had filed a Public Interest Litigation in the Supreme Court. “We read about bank fraud every day, and money is being withdrawn from ATMs, causing great trouble to the account holders. Today’s judgment will put an end to these,” she said. “If Aadhaar is linked with mobile phones, your call and message records become public. This is uncalled for,” said the Chief Minister. “Because of this I did not link my Aadhaar with my bank account and cell phone and also asked people not to do it,” she added. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedMeanwhile, party spokesperson and Rajya Sabha MP Derek O’Brien said: “Mamata Banerjee had issued an open challenge on Aadhaar. Our stance has been vindicated,” and added: “I am glad the court said we need to take a closer look at data privacy and data protection… the BJP can’t make it (India) into a police state.” In a verdict with far-reaching consequences and described as balanced, the Supreme Court Wednesday upheld the constitutional validity of ‘Aadhaar’ but limited the scope of the controversial biometric identity project by quashing some provisions that made it mandatory for bank accounts, mobile connections or school admissions. Holding there was nothing in the Aadhaar Act that violates right to privacy of an individual, a five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra in a 4 to 1 verdict also cleared the use of Aadhaar for welfare schemes after a long-drawn legal battle against the government’s ambitious project- the world’s largest biometric ID database. The court, however, held Aadhaar would remain mandatory for the filing of Income Tax(IT) returns and allotment of Permanent Account Number (PAN). It struck down Section 57 of the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016 that permitted private entities like telecom companies or other corporates to avail of the biometric Aadhaar data. Ruling that Aadhaar authentication data cannot be stored for more than six months, the court also directed the government not to give Aadhaar to illegal immigrants. Justice D Y Chandrachud gave a dissenting judgement in which he ruled the Aadhaar Act should not have been passed as Money Bill as it amounts to a fraud on the Constitution and is liable to be struck down.
Get the biggest Daily stories by emailSubscribeSee our privacy noticeThank you for subscribingSee our privacy noticeCould not subscribe, try again laterInvalid EmailUPDATE: The carriageway reopened – although it is now shut again due to an accident near junction 3. More on that here. The M6 motorway is closed near the West Midlands/Warwickshire border this morning after cows escaped onto the carriageway – with the road expected to remain closed for several more hours. The motorway has been closed in both directions since late on Saturday night after the animals escaped onto the road between junction 4 and junction 4a. The cattle are believed to have got onto the motorway at around 11.30pm last night, and Warwickshire Police and Highways England are waiting for daylight to ensure all the cows are cleared. A Highways England spokesman said: “The M6 is closed in both directions between junctions 4 and 4a, due to a number of cows that have escaped their nearby enclosure and who have found their way onto the motorway. ” Bad weather in the region, with a yellow weather warning in place across the West Midlands, is also impeding the retrieval of the animals. Read MoreYellow weather warning issued for Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire as heavy rain forecast The Highways England spokesman added: “Deteriorating weather conditions (heavy rain, thunder and lightening) is hampering our efforts to deal with the loose cows on the motorway. “Expectation is that we will have to keep the motorway closed until daylight, so that we can be sure all of the cows have been captured and that there are none left behind in the tall bushes or dense undergrowth.” Diversions are currently in place in both directions and traffic is being advised to take alternative routes. Diversions in Place:Highways England say they have the following diversions in place. Northbound – Exit the M6 northbound at junction 4 and join the A446 northbound towards Coleshill. At Coleshill, exit the A446 and join the B4114 towards Birmingham. Then join the A452 westbound towards Castle Bromwich. Continue on the A452 to then join the A38 at Tyburn Island. Follow the road signs towards Birmingham city centre. Re-join the M6 northbound at Salford Circus (M6 junction 6). Follow the hollow black circle diversion symbol. Southbound – Traffic approaching the closure at junction 4a is diverted onto the M42 northbound. Travel M42 northbound and exit the M42 at junction 9. Travel around the roundabout and re-join the M42 in the opposite direction at junction 9, travelling southbound. Follow the overhead motorway signs for the M6 southbound. Re-join the M6 southbound at junction 3a. Follow the hollow diamond diversion symbol.