Let's Build on #NoOn2 Momentum

Greetings,

MTA members, community partners and MTA staff found receptive voters everywhere they went last weekend - canvassing in Quincy, going door to door and using #NoOn2 to build local power in Watertown, marching in the Puerto Rican Day Parade in Springfield, and passing out literature at community days in Arlington, Brookline and Waltham. Let's take advantage of this momentum.

On Saturday, we're kicking off the next phase of the #NoOn2 campaign with a Day of Action for Educators and Allies. Go here to learn about Saturday's events.

There are plenty of opportunities for door knocking and phone banking. Check with your local president and/or your field rep, but there's no rule that says you can't get together on your own with fellow educators to spread the #NoOn2 message. Any day of the week, meet up with other MTA members, hold signs, engage in conversations, and post your photos on social media!

By last week, more than 100 school committees were in the #NoOn2 column. By Tuesday of this week, that number had grown to 120. Go here for the up-to-date list. More school committees - as well as town and city councils - have yet to vote, but so far there are NO votes by bodies such as these in support of Question 2.

'A Vehicle for Fraud and Corruption'
Not to be missed is Charles Pierce's takedown of the big-money push behind charter schools in his latest Esquire article, "The Charter School Movement Is a Vehicle for Fraud and Corruption." Pierce reports that "the usual suspects and the usual out-of-state money are weighing in heavily on the YES side of things," but he concludes that all they really want from the public school system "is money and suckers." You've got that right, Charlie. Go here to read the article.

Chester Gets an Earful in Brockton...
Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester was booed during a visit to Brockton Tuesday evening. "Loud hissing and then booing broke out" during a town-hall-style forum when Chester started talking about charter schools, The Enterprise reported, "with the uproar only intensifying after he mentioned the name of one that he recommended to open in the city this year." Parents, students, educators and other public education supporters turned out in a big way for the commissioner's visit to the City of Champions, where the state approved the New Heights Charter School over the objections of parents and elected leaders from the area.

... and Peyser Feels the Heat at UMass
Secretary of Education James Peyser didn't get quite the reception he might have wished for when he spoke at the UMass Boston convocation on September 15. Read more about the secretary's visit here. As Peyser described his corporate-friendly approach to education - cutting programs and slicing staffing levels - students, educators, staff and other public education supporters booed and yelled. Dozens demonstrated outside, calling for adequate funding and opposing Question 2. Many took the opportunity to sign up right then and there to canvass and phone bank against lifting the cap on charters.

Let's Gear Up for October 6 Walk-Ins
Click here to read more about national Reclaim Our Public Schools day on October 6, and check with your building rep or local president to find out what your school is planning to do. Many locals will be using the day for visibilities: holding signs and wearing #NoOn2 stickers as well as holding stand-outs in front of schools for a half-hour before the school day begins. Actions such as these carry a powerful message. Don't forget to share your photos on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

New Life Insurance Options from MTAB
MTA Benefits is launching new life insurance options for members beginning in November. Endorsed by MTAB and NEA Member Benefits, the benefits include Accidental Death and Dismemberment, group term, guaranteed issue and level-premium life insurance, all at fantastic low rates. A complimentary life program will also be available to eligible members. Expect to begin receiving information about the new plans in late October.

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

Barbara