Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray was in Pittsfield to meet with students, teachers and administrators at Pittsfield High School, where he received a quick tour of the school’s science and technology facilities, including an electronics lab and a nursing classroom.
Murray highlighted the growing importance of vocational and technical education, saying he hears from some employers that their biggest need is for employees with associates’ degrees in fields like electronics. Though Governor Deval Patrick announced a 9 million dollar cut to local aid earlier this week, the lieutenant governor notes that cut is not aimed at public schools. He added, successful resolution to the current federal budget impasse in Washington should encourage a growing economy that will in turn boost state coffers.
“We’re hopeful that as things get resolved in Washington, and we hope they do in the next month, that the economy will accelerate in terms of its improvement and that will allow us some of the revenues to be able to come back and restore funding.”
State Representative Tricia Farley-Bouvier took the opportunity to lobby Murray on behalf of a proposed school construction project in Pittsfield, which she says has fallen down on the commonwealth’s list of priorities compared with school projects elsewhere.
“When they see things just on paper, it doesn’t have quite as much meaning as when you put a student’s face, and the electronic board as they showed, to what’s really happening behind those dollars.”
Farley-Bouvier said she hoped the in-person tour would help solidify the needs of Pittsfield in the mind of Lieutenant Governor Murray.