Sudbury to Legislators: Voke Tech Economic Model Doesn't Work

The Sudbury Board of Selectmen urged State Sens. Jamie Eldridge and Mike Barrett, and State Rep. Tom Conroy to help so other towns share the costs.

Sudbury's three state legislators — State Sens. Jamie Eldrdige and Mike Barrett, and State Rep. Tom Conroy — met with the Board of Selectmen Tuesday night and were given a very direct plea: fix the funding model for regional schools.

The Town of Sudbury sends a handful of students to Minuteman High School, a regional vocational school in Lexington. Sudbury is one of 16 member towns that have to pay for capital projects toward Minuteman, Selectman Bob Haarde said, which puts them at a disadvantage.

"It's a better deal to not be a member," he said. "You can’t leave unless the other towns agree. It just doesn't seem to be a fair funding model."

Haarde and Chairman Larry O'Brien voiced concern over the school's $70 million renovation, saying they don't want to take on the brunt of that payment.

"The funding issue is upside down and needs to be changed," O'Brien said. "If those communities don’t join, then the funding model has to shift so the surcharge goes toward construction."

Town Manager Maureen Valente noted a bill that was filed by State Sen. Ken Donnelly that would increase reimbursement rates for facilities grants to both regional vocational and technical schools. Valente said it would encourage other towns to join.

"Without the state stepping in, this model won't work," she said.


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