Now More Than Ever
One of the richest states in the richest country in the world can afford excellent public education for all. Now More Than Ever! We must fund public education in order to:
- Recover from the disruption caused by the pandemic.
- Restore the economy and public services.
- Rebuild a better society.
We need a New Deal-level of investment and progressive tax and budget policies to make that funding possible. Funding from all three levels of government — federal, state and local — is critical to seizing this dangerous moment to advance the public good. It's important to note that as the pandemic and unemployment rate were heating up between March 18 and May 19, the net worth of 17 billionaires in Massachusetts increased by $11 billion.
Where will the money come from?
When students return to their classrooms, our public schools and colleges are going to need more staff members, not fewer, to educate them safely. Where will the money come from? The MTA supports progressive revenues to fund public education and the common good.
Resolution in Support of Education Funding in the COVID-19 Era
WHEREAS, the Massachusetts Legislature and governor enacted the Student Opportunity Act in 2019 because the state’s school funding formula was out of date and failed to provide all students with the education to which they are constitutionally entitled; and
WHEREAS, the Student Opportunity Act requires phasing in new funding formulas to provide greater resources for all school districts, with the largest share going to low-income districts; and
WHEREAS, our students’ needs are even greater now after public schools and colleges were shut down in mid-March in response to the COVID-19 pandemic; and
WHEREAS, in the upcoming academic year many students will need enhanced educational opportunities, technology, health and guidance services; and
WHEREAS, the need for these additional services exists in every school district and is greatest in school districts that would receive the largest share of new funding under the Student Opportunity Act; and
WHEREAS, the federal, state and local governments share responsibility for making sure all students receive the education to which they are constitutionally entitled.
THEREFORE, be it resolved that the [School Committee/City Council/Town Board] supports the following:
- Congress should approve New Deal-level funding for state and local governments in response to the economic crisis caused by this pandemic, raising revenues progressively if necessary, to ensure that they can fulfill their obligations to educate our students;
- The Massachusetts Legislature and Governor Charlie Baker should fund public education — preK through higher education — at the level needed to maintain current staffing and services, fully fund the first year of the Student Opportunity Act, and enable students and our state's economy to thrive as we begin recovering from the pandemic;
- Our city/town(s) should maintain its/their commitment to fully fund our public schools.
Checklist for Now More Than Ever Resolutions
Download a sample resolution and confer with your local association about language.
Pursue with the School Committee. Identify an ally on the committee who can advise you on timing and process.
Get members to attend (via a video chat) on the designated date.
Arrange for speakers during the public comment session. If possible, ask a parent and/or student to join educators in testifying.
Alert the local media.
Take photos, screen shots or screen captures for posting on social media and your website.
Ask School Committee to send a copy to local legislators, House Speaker DeLeo, Senate President Spilka and Governor Baker.
Share the victory with your members and with the MTA!
Send letters to the editor describing how students will benefit from additional funding.