What a week we had last week on behalf of the Fund Our Future bills! And there is more to come. If you haven't already done so, act now to let your legislators know you support these public education funding bills.
Higher Ed Members Turn Out for Cherish Act
On Thursday, more than 100 MTA members from every sector of public higher education joined hundreds of students and community supporters at Public Higher Education Advocacy Day. For many, this was their first time at the State House. They reaffirmed their support for public higher ed and advocated for the Cherish Act, the bill to increase state funding for state colleges and universities by more than $500 million a year. A hearing on the bill will be held on April 30. Save the date. Details will follow.
PreK-12 Supporters Flood State House for Promise Act
The next day, the State House was again filled with public education supporters, this time educators, parents, students, administrators, union leaders and elected officials packing Gardner Auditorium for a marathon nine-hour hearing on behalf of the Promise Act and other school funding bills. The MTA organized panels of speakers who argued that the Promise Act will do the most for underserved students and is the only bill that fully implements the recommendations of the Foundation Budget Review Commission.
Patriots Players Support Promise Act
One highlight of that hearing was testimony from four New England Patriots players. Matthew Slater, Duron Harmon and brothers Devin and Jason McCourty raised their voices in support of both the Promise Act and the low-income children of color who will benefit the most from its passage.
Future Actions Include May 16 March
Just as the Patriots would never rest on their laurels after a touchdown, neither can we sit back after having a great week. Our opponents are powerful. The governor is backing a plan that provides only one-third as much state education aid to public schools as the Promise Act - and his budget does not include a long-term funding plan for public higher education. House leaders also have not committed to supporting the Fund Our Future bills. Now is the time to push hard. Check out the FOF calendar of upcoming events and make plans to attend a march on the State House on May 16. MTA will be providing buses.
ESP Conference Coming April 5-6
Registration is still open for the 2019 MTA Education Support Professionals Conference on April 5-6 at the Sea Crest Beach Hotel in Falmouth. Workshops will include information on legal rights of ESPs, classroom management, retirement issues, the Fund Our Future campaign and much more.