The Legislature’s formal session ended early this morning without any decision to increase school funding to address the major shortcomings identified by the Foundation Budget Review Commission. The Senate bill would have increased that funding by more than $1 billion, when fully implemented, and the House bill would have increased it by about one-third as much. The MTA and other public school advocates strongly supported the Senate bill. The two branches failed to reconcile their differences, however, so the inadequate funding formula remains unchanged.
Statement by MTA President Merrie Najimy and Vice President Max Page on Legislature’s Failure to Pass School Funding Bill
At many moments in our history, we have looked proudly on the golden dome of our State House as the Legislature passed progressive legislation to the benefit of the Commonwealth.
But this week the Legislature failed to perform its most essential duty: to provide sufficient funds, as demanded by our Constitution, to “cherish” our public schools. Our students, especially those who are most vulnerable, will go another year without getting what they need and deserve.
"Our students, especially those who are most vulnerable, will go another year without getting what they need and deserve."
After a quarter-century of the foundation budget formula, and three years after the Foundation Budget Review Commission detailed the more than $1 billion annual shortfall in funding for our public schools, the Legislature had a straightforward task. There is nothing the Commonwealth is more proud of than its public schools. There was enormous support for making sure that all students — not just the ones from wealthy communities — would have the schools they deserve.
But the Legislature — especially the House, which unlike the Senate refused to back the findings of the FBRC — proved unwilling to meet its responsibilities.
The 110,000 members of the Massachusetts Teachers Association, the educators of most of the Commonwealth’s children, are angry but resolute. We will organize and join forces with the public school supporters in our communities to take up this fight and stay the course until the needs of every student in Massachusetts are met.