MTA leadership praises public education spending in Governor Healey’s budget, cites concern about tax breaks for wealthy

MTA leadership praises public education spending in Governor Healey’s budget, cites concern about tax breaks for wealthy

The following statement was issued today by MTA President Max Page and MTA Vice President Deb McCarthy:

On behalf of the 115,000 educators we represent throughout Massachusetts — who are deeply committed to creating a public education system in which all children can reach their full potential — we are pleased that many elements of Governor Maura Healey’s first budget align with the priorities that our union members have long fought for, including full funding of the Student Opportunity Act and a commitment to allocating Fair Share Amendment funds to new initiatives. Many aspects of this budget — including new investments in higher education affordability, financial aid expansion and equity and inclusion initiatives — are good first steps toward access to free and enriching public education from kindergarten through college graduation, for all Bay State residents, no matter their age, zip code, economic status or race.

While there are elements of this budget that we applaud, we are disappointed in Healey’s sizable giveaways to the very wealthy through proposed changes to the estate tax and short-term capital gains tax rate. These changes would give millions of dollars in tax cuts to the richest members of our society, millions that could be better spent on education, transportation, childcare, housing and clean and healthy communities for regular, working people.

And we still have a long way to go to achieve the true educational equity our state needs. True educational equity means that all students who wish to can go into their careers without incurring massive debt from higher education. It means fully funded student support services, decent wages and working conditions for faculty and staff, and green and healthy campuses financed by the state rather than through student fees. It means offering students a holistic and nurturing education without punitive, high-stakes testing that gets in the way of them getting a high school diploma. It means a living wage for the Education Support Professionals that K-12 schools and families depend on, more school counselors and librarians in our public schools, and paid family medical leave for all educators.

We look forward to engaging with members of the state House and Senate in the coming months over how to improve and expand upon the governor’s proposal.