What Is Fund Our Future?

OUR RED FOR ED MOMENT IS HERE. We have a once-in-a-generation chance to fix how public schools and colleges are funded in Massachusetts. Here is how, together, we can win this historic fight for our students. Because of our organizing, leaders on Beacon Hill agree that we have to fix public education funding this spring.Once the Legislature goes on recess in July, no important issues will be dealt with until next January. Whatever happens this spring will be locked in for years, if not decades. This is our moment. We have to get it right. We’ve introduced two visionary bills — the Promise Act (S.238/H.586) and the Cherish Act (S.741/H.1214) — that would bring more than $1.5 billion a year into our public schools and colleges. All of our preK-12 students would benefit, while the schools that need the most would receive the most. Public higher education students, faculty and staff on all campuses across Massachusetts would benefit.

HOW ARE WE GOING TO WIN?

The MTA is part of the Fund Our Future coalition, made up of groups representing parents, students, other educators and civil rights activists — many of the same groups that defeated Question 2, the ballot initiative to lift the cap on charter schools, in 2016. Our coalition can win because the public is with us, because educators are the most trusted spokespeople on education policy, and because we have built significant power through past victories. We are prepared to go all in with the coalition to win this spring.

WHO IS STANDING IN OUR WAY?

Our opponents are using the school funding debate to seek new punitive mandates that give state education officials more control over what goes on in our classrooms and that undermine educators’ rights. We are fighting for a clean school funding bill with no new mandates or privatization schemes attached.

What we have accomplished so far...

Conversation

Community forums have provided participants with information, spread our message to thousands of people, and given members a chance to call on legislators to support the campaign.

We’ve collected more than 20,000 signatures on Fund Our Future petitions and continue to collect more.

We’ve been working to identify supporters from a universe of active voters, educators and community members.

MTA members have participated in several State House media events. More local media will be sought, and the campaign will be promoted via digital/social media.

Commitment cards have been collected to identify campaign supporters, and new cards are being rolled out to members who pledge to attend the March on the State House on May 16.

Actions

As of early March, 116 legislators have signed on to co-sponsor the Promise Act and 114 have signed on to co-sponsor the Cherish Act.

More than 60 school committees and boards of trustees passed resolutions by March 1.

We have begun holding themed Funding Friday actions to build solidarity and funding crisis recognition.

Members are continuing to contact their legislators to urge them to support these bills.

We’ve been identifying spokespeople to highlight the underfunding crisis in letters to local newspaper editors.

What we still need to do... and what you can do

Actions

Hold or attend a forum in your community or district.

Get your school committee or board of trustees to pass a resolution endorsing Fund Our Future.

Get your local involved in Funding Friday actions.

Come to Higher Education Advocacy Day at the State House on March 21.

Support the March 22 Promise Act hearing by coming to the State House or by conducting local walk-ins or contacting legislators.

Speak about underfunding at coalition-led public hearings across the state during the Week of Action from April 8 to 12.

Conduct legislative phone banking and schedule in-district meetings with legislators.

Mobilizations

We will hand in petitions in favor of our legislation on Higher Education Advocacy Day, March 21, at the State House

The coalition is organizing Fund Our Future People’s Hearings during a week of action from April 8 to 12. Local legislators will be asked to attend to hear from educators, parents and students about why these bills are needed.

From mid-April to mid-May, make confirmation calls, phone-banking style, for the May 16 event on Beacon Hill.

March in solidarity with labor coalition and immigrant and refugee rights groups on May 1, Immigrants’ Rights Day.

Jump in and help us mobilize for hearings on the Cherish Act and decide next steps.

Come to the State House to support the Promise Act and the Cherish Act on May 16.