Phone bank, vote early - and let's win!

Greetings,
 
With a unanimous vote Monday night, the Hadley School Committee became the 200th voting to #keepthecap on charter schools - and that number continues to grow! School committees voting to support Question 2? Still holding at zero!
 
Go here to sign up for regional phone banks to get our #NoOn2 message out in these last days of the campaign. And don't forget about early voting, which began October 24 and runs through November 4. Go here to learn how to vote early in your city or town.
 
The Save Our Public Schools campaign is urging all of us to exercise the early voting option so that we can spend our precious time on November 8 getting out the vote rather than standing in line. As many volunteers as possible will be needed that day to contact voters about getting to the polls. Check with your local to see how you can help get out the vote. Let's win this!
 
Bringing Our Message to the Governor
Even as Governor Charlie Baker was packing to take his talking points to the pro-charter Manhattan Institute in New York, educators, students, elected officials and other supporters converged on his home turf for a #NoOn2 rally and canvass. The rally in Swampscott on Sunday was a huge success.
 
But on Tuesday, the latest Yes on 2 ad hit the airwaves. "If you like your school, Question 2 won't affect you," Baker tells the camera with a smile. Don't be misled. The truth is that charters are siphoning off more than $450 million from public school districts this year alone. You know that passage of Question 2 would lead to deeper budget cuts in urban, suburban and rural school districts - and so does the governor.

Sean Costello, chair of the Marshfield School Committee, did a fine job of summing things up. "This question isn't about choice," he said in a statement. "It's about Wall Street billionaires masked by their super PACs trying to hijack local control of our schools. Our kids and our communities deserve better."

From the Berkshires to Boston, We Stand Together
Don't forget that while Yes on 2 has millions in hedge fund money to buy TV ads, our side has people power! The MTA Board of Directors and MTA staff put a high priority last weekend on working the phones and the doors of MetroWest. One-to-one conversations are invaluable, whether in person or by phone. Sign up here to phone bank or here to join Save Our Public Schools events statewide. Here are a few to choose from in the coming days:
 
- This Saturday, October 29, NEA Secretary-Treasurer Princess Moss will join us at 10 a.m. for a SOPS canvass. After a short training session, we will leave from the Educational Association of Worcester office at 397 Grove St., Suite 1. More details are available here. Later, Moss will speak at a Get Out the Vote rally in Pittsfield sponsored by the United Educators of Pittsfield. The rally, at the First Street Common, kicks off at 2 p.m. Moss will be joined by me and elected local and state officials, with canvassing to follow at 3 p.m. Go here for more information.
 
- Next Tuesday evening, Nov. 1, meet for a #NoOn2 rally in Boston, where charter schools are draining more than $136 million this year from the city's schools. The rally will start at 6:30 p.m. in the William E. Reed Auditorium, Prince Hall, 24 Washington St., Dorchester. Go here for more details. Organize a group - or come with a friend or by yourself. Let's stand together against Question 2!
 
DESE Forums on ESSA 
The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will be holding five forums starting in mid-November to gather public input on the Massachusetts accountability system and other issues related to the Every Student Succeeds Act, or ESSA. Organize, sign up and say NO to a punitive accountability system and NO to using student assessment results to make high-stakes decisions about educators. Go here to register. Here is the schedule:
 
- Monday, November 14, 2nd floor of Bolling Building, 2300 Washington St., Roxbury
- Monday, November 21, Oak Middle School, 45 Oak St., Shrewsbury
- Tuesday, November 29, Brockton High School, 470 Forest Ave., Brockton
- Thursday, December 1, Holyoke High School, 500 Beech St., Holyoke
- Tuesday, December 6, Collins Middle School, 29 Highland Ave., Salem
 
Professional Learning Survey
The NEA is conducting a survey on teachers' experience with professional learning. The survey will be open through October 31. Go here to take the survey. All teachers who complete it will be entered into a raffle to win one of three iPad Minis. The winner will be announced by November 7.
 
In solidarity, and in anticipation of many great things ahead,                     

Barbara