Stick with Public Schools

Greetings,

The Senate vote last week on District-Determined Measures was a lesson in what can happen when we raise our voices and use our power. The amendment to end DDMs and student impact rating mandates is a crack in the wall of the corporate accountability system. Now, more than ever, we must keep the pressure on, from preK-12 through public higher education. How? Here are a few ways to raise the volume.

Join Charter #keepthecap Week of Action June 6-10

We have had some excellent movement on the charter issue, as school committees across the state have been joining us in speaking out against lifting the cap. They understand what a devastating impact lifting the cap would have on our public schools. From June 6 to 10, let's turn up the heat with a Week of Action that includes "stick with public schools" sticker days, social media postings, walk-ins - whatever suits your local and your building. Remember, your daily experiences - budget cuts, bullying principals, testing madness - are all part of the same attack as charter schools. Each is part of a systemic assault on our working conditions and rights, as well as on public education. Next week, raise your voices: #keepthecap #publicfundsforpublicschools #unionpower. Spread the word both in person and on social media.

Student Impact Rating Issue Headed for Conference Committee

Check out this article in The Boston Globe about the student impact rating win in the Senate. Since the House did not pass the same provision, it is heading for a joint House and Senate conference committee. Stay tuned for information about how you can continue to make the case, both at the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education and in the House. You all came in very strong on the Senate amendment. Let's triple our efforts for the next round.

Higher Ed Funding Goes to Conference

The Senate budget for public higher education is about $22 million higher than the House version. The two bills now go to a budget conference committee. Keep an eye out for messages about how you can weigh in with legislators on why it is important to our students, faculty and staff that legislators approve the Senate's funding level.

Join Me at Pride Parade June 11

For a real celebration of social justice, come march with me behind the MTA banner at the Pride Parade in Boston - and invite other MTA members and supporters to come along. We had a delightful time last year. It means so much to have educators out in front supporting the LGBTQ community, and it is a great way to conclude the Week of Action. General information about the parade is here. Details about how to connect with the MTA contingent will be coming in next week's e-mail.

Limited Number of No-Cost RETELL Courses Planned

The MTA has continued to advocate for free RETELL courses for the 3,000 eligible educators who have not received the SEI Endorsement through no fault of their own. We are happy to report some progress. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is planning to offer a limited number - 100 to 150 - of no-cost courses during the 2016-2017 school year. The DESE is compiling a list of eligible educators and will notify them about course registration procedures by mid-July. Go here for more information on who is eligible.

In solidarity, and in anticipation of many great things ahead,

Barbara