Update on fight to keep the charter cap
I am writing to update you on the status of the MTA campaign to #keepthecap. As I have been reporting, both the governor's proposed legislation and the charter ballot initiative represent a profound threat to public education in Massachusetts and must be fought with the full measure of our forces.
At the Board meeting last weekend, there was a presentation on a proposed campaign in which the MTA would join in a coalition with the Massachusetts Education Justice Alliance and fight to #keepthecap. In this presentation, we learned just how destabilizing any charter cap lift would be to public education - and we learned that our members are, by a wide margin, opposed to any cap lift.
I had anticipated that the Board would review the proposal, contact local presidents and then vote at an emergency Board meeting next week. Some presidents and members came on Saturday to hear the proposal and discussion.
A new business item proposed by members of the Executive Committee was taken up in open session. Observers were asked to leave when Board members voted to go into executive session to discuss the new business item. No one, including me, is permitted to share what was said or how anyone voted in executive session, but we are able to discuss the content of the new business item that was adopted.
By vote of the Board, the MTA will enter into conversations with state legislators as they formulate a reform bill for charter schools speaking specifically to accountability measures. At the same time, using funds that the Public Relations/Organizing Campaign Committee had already committed to the campaign, the MTA will begin to support a grassroots effort to fight any lifting of the charter cap. Given this decision by the Board, there will be no emergency Board meeting this coming weekend.
With our allies in the Massachusetts Education Justice Alliance, I remain committed to refusing any legislation that lifts the cap on charter schools, and we will continue to communicate this in the State House.
The campaign to defeat any attempt to lift the cap on charters is vital to public education in Massachusetts. In the weeks ahead, we will need your energy and commitment to help us win this fight. Please stay tuned for more news about how you can be involved.
Please also stay involved in MTA activities by joining us for the March 18 and 19 Board meeting and the March 4 and 5 Executive Committee meeting in order to keep abreast of any conversations and decisions being made by your elected representatives.
In solidarity, and in anticipation of many great things ahead,