Take Action on Charters and HONK!

Greetings,

Week of Action on Charters

The Week of Action on charters kicked off with a massively successful social media campaign about how much public school districts are losing to Commonwealth charter schools this year. Click here to see - and share - an interactive map detailing the loss of $419 million to charter school tuition this year. Click here to read about other actions you can take this week. Here's yet another thing you can do: Share this EduShyster post on the lack of transparency in Boston charter schools' lobbying activities. Estimates on the cost to comply with a public records request: an eye-popping $91,440!

Charter School Hearing on Tuesday, Oct. 13

MTA members, parents and others will testify at the State House on Tuesday, Oct. 13, in favor of Senate Bill 326, which calls for a three-year moratorium on charter schools. To submit testimony, e-mail MTA lobbyist Julie Johnson at jjohnson@massteacher.org. Please also contact your legislators and speak up about the impact that charters are having on students attending district public schools.

HONK! If You Love Activism

Join me on Oct. 11 at the HONK! Festival Sunday Parade from Davis Square in Somerville to Harvard Square in Cambridge. This parade is part of a fun and outrageous three-day festival that brings brass bands to Somerville from all over the country for a celebration of music, community and activism. The parade steps off at noon, but come early to line up. I'll be carrying the MTA banner amid signs calling for "Less Testing/More Learning." Here's one suggestion: Make your own sign, starting with "Less Testing" and then "More ---," adding whatever would bring more joy to your classroom. More information on the whole weekend of HONK! Festival events can be found here.

Round Up Signatures for Raise Up Massachusetts

Please join a big MTA push to get more than 20,000 signatures on the Raise Up Massachusetts petition, mainly in our locals and on campuses through one-on-one conversations and at building meetings and general membership events. Petitions are available in many locals and chapters and at MTA regional offices. For pointers on the initiative and signature-gathering, watch this MTA video. Please also take petitions with you when you go out to community events over the next few weeks. This initiative would raise more than $1 billion a year for public schools, colleges and transportation, so it's critically important to us all.

Shout-Out for NEA Director Solidarity

I want to offer a shout-out to the Massachusetts NEA Directors for their solidarity last week in voting against the early endorsement of Hillary Clinton in the Democratic Primary. Early endorsement does not allow members to participate actively in the discussion and debate that are central to a democratic union. The MTA will hold regional meetings at the end of November and into December to encourage member discussion of the MTA's relationship to electoral politics, including how we hold elected officials accountable and how we best use our collective power to influence policy. Watch for a schedule of meeting dates, which will be announced soon.

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

Barbara