Happy New Year! We hope you had a restful winter break. We are looking forward to winning the Fund Our Future campaign — in this new year. We can only succeed if you get involved.
Governor Charlie Baker was sworn in to his second term yesterday. High on his agenda is a plan to address the Foundation Budget formula. More specifics about his proposals will be included in the budget that he will file later this month, but he and his backers — those who have brought us charter schools, high-stakes testing and other privatization measures —have historically had drastically different ideas about school funding than those we advocate, which call for providing the resources we know our students truly need.
The Fund Our Future Campaign called out the governor and repeated that we are seeking full funding of an updated formula to restore small class sizes; provide arts programming, libraries, more counselors, nurses, education support professionals and wraparound services; and increase funding for public higher education to make college affordable for students.
There are so many ways for you to participate.
- Start by going to the FOF page on our website to learn how much your school district or college is owed.
- Tell us your story about your students' current learning conditions and how those conditions could change with increased funding.
- Sign our citizens' petition to support our legislation.
- Wear a Fund Our Future pin and put a bumper sticker on your car (talk to your local leader about getting these).
- Gather your MTA colleagues together to plan creative public actions.
- Participate in upcoming FOF Days of Action or attend a community forum in your area. Check out the events on the MTA's Facebook page for information on some of the upcoming forums. Here is information on three January 8 forums organized by the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents.
January 10 and 11 Days of Action: Red for Ed for United Teachers Los Angeles
On January 10, the members of United Teachers Los Angeles are scheduled to go on strike for the schools their students deserve. In a showing of solidarity, please wear Red for Public Ed on January 10 and 11 and post pictures on your social media pages with the following hashtags: #WeAreLA, #StrikeReady, #RedForEd and #UTLAStrong. Tag @massteacher on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to make sure we see your posts.
Public education across America is not failing. It has been failed by policies of austerity that intentionally starve our schools and colleges of resources and stand in the way of our ability to properly educate our students. And then schools are assessed with punitive accountability measures that create a false narrative of failure as the justification to privatize public education.
California, which has the fifth-largest economy in the world, stands at 46th among the states in per-pupil funding.
There is an undeniable truth — the money is here to fund our schools. The billionaires and rich corporations are keeping that money from LA schools. And politicians are helping them do this.
UTLA members are standing up for public education. Let's stand with them!
Breakthrough for National Grid Workers?
Although we don't have details yet, we are hoping that a settlement is near for locked-out National Grid workers. A quote from this article in The Boston Globe sums up the problem: "This is a company that raked in $4.8 billion in after-tax profit in fiscal 2018, workers point out ... 'I feel like we took a hell of a beating,' said Fred Naumann, an inspector and 29-year veteran. 'We had to stand up to the company. We shouldn't have been going backwards as the company was going forwards.'"