Panel debates in Worcester: Smarter spending or more money for schools?

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WORCESTER – State Education Commissioner Mitchell D. Chester said at the start of his speech Wednesday on school funding that he would be provocative, and he apparently succeeded, stating that more attention needs to be paid to how schools are spending money, not just how much they spend.

The comment was contested by fellow panel members as well as members of the audience, who believe public schools’ struggles owe largely to lack of funding support from the state. Panel member Patrick Francomano, a professor at the UMass School of Law and a past president of the Massachusetts Association of School Committees, said the insinuation that districts are not being smart enough with the money they receive is “unfair and unfounded.”

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