Education justice and racial justice are inextricably linked, and so we celebrate the release today of the Student Opportunity Act, which addresses the needs of our most underserved students in poorer districts who have been hit hardest by years of austerity budgets. This bill takes a major step toward providing the funding that will help advance the causes of equity and justice for our students, our schools and our communities.
The bill is modeled on the MTA-backed Promise Act, which has racial and social justice at its core, and it appears to fulfill the recommendations stated in the 2015 Foundation Budget Review Commission report. We will work with our Fund Our Future coalition partners and members of the Legislature to refine and improve the bill and to make sure that it is protected from changes that would undermine district and educator autonomy. The bill goes a long way toward achieving what the MTA and its allies in the Fund Our Future coalition sought — a generational investment in public education that helps every district while advancing the causes of equity and justice for the districts most in need.
As the MTA continues to work on racial and social justice issues, we are proud to let you know of an upcoming webinar, Countering Islamophobia in Classrooms and Schools. The webinar is the result of a partnership involving the MTA Task Force on Race, Teaching for Change, the American Friends Service Committee and the University of Illinois at Chicago. It will take place on Thursday, Sept. 26, from 8 to 9:30 p.m. Please take the time to sign up and take part in this important webinar to help your students build an understanding of the structural roots of anti-Muslim racism.
Response to Janus enacted
As expected, the state Senate today overrode Governor Charlie Baker’s veto of a bill that clarifies unions’ rights, following a similar override vote by the House on Wednesday. The new state law gives unions the tools we need to identify prospective members and reach out to them to encourage them to become active in their unions. We thank the Public Sector Task Force, a coalition of labor unions including the MTA that did the hard work of putting the bill together in the aftermath of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2018 anti-union Janus decision. Read more about An Act relative to Collective Bargaining Dues.
Global Climate Strike
Finally, we wish every success to the thousands of students, educators and others expected to participate in tomorrow’s Global Climate Strike. Meet up with me, MTA Vice President Max Page and other MTA members in Boston outside the MTA office at 20 Ashburton Place at 11 a.m. We will march behind the MTA banner to Boston City Hall Plaza in support of this important student-led movement. If you are not able to make it to Boston, please share your own school and campus events on social media! Use the hashtags #StrikeWithUs, #StrikeWithUsBoston, #ClimateStrike and #ClimateStrikeMA.