"Every student in Massachusetts deserves the same great public education."
The Fund Our Future Coalition of students, educators, parents and community leaders from across Massachusetts today issued the following statement regarding Governor Charlie Baker’s inaugural address:
“Governor Baker has shortchanged the students in our public schools for years, failing to repair the persistent inequity in education funding that exists between different communities in our state. Now, he is doubling down on a failed strategy by ignoring the Foundation Budget Review Commission’s call for $1 billion in new funding for our local schools.
“Educators and local community members know what our students need — the investment the state promised years ago and the ability to spend it where it’s needed most. Every student in Massachusetts deserves the same great public education, whether their family is rich or poor, whether they are black, white, or brown, and whether their community is urban, suburban, or rural.
“Meanwhile, Baker doesn’t even address the severe funding crisis in our public colleges and universities, which the Higher Education Finance Commission found are underfunded by more than $500 million a year. The cost of public higher education has skyrocketed in Massachusetts, limiting opportunities for students and forcing them to take on enormous debt.
“Our students can’t afford another year of Baker’s budget fiddling. The Legislature should reject the governor’s proposal and fully fund all of our local public schools and our public colleges and universities — this year.”
About the Fund Our Future Coalition
The Fund Our Future coalition was formed to end the generation-long underfunding of local public schools and public colleges and universities in Massachusetts and includes the American Federation of Teachers Massachusetts, Boston Teachers Union, Citizens for Public Schools, FairTest, Massachusetts Education Justice Alliance, Massachusetts Jobs With Justice, Massachusetts Teachers Association, NAACP New England Area Conference, and PHENOM (Public Higher Education Network of Massachusetts). The coalition is calling on the Legislature to meet the recommendations of the bipartisan Foundation Budget Review Commission and the Higher Education Finance Commission by increasing state funding for preK-12 public schools by $1 billion a year and increasing state funding for public colleges and universities by more than $500 million a year. Advocates are calling for this major reinvestment in public education to happen in time for local communities to include the funding in the next academic year’s budget and in time for public college students to avoid tuition and fee hikes this fall.
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