Governor Baker's proposed budget acknowledges what Stand for Children parents and families know all too well — Massachusetts has a two-tiered public school system where students in wealthy suburbs attend the best schools in the country while those in Gateway Cities and some rural districts must deal every day with overcrowded classes, run down facilities and not enough funds for English Language Learners and special education. The governor takes a giant step toward leveling that playing field both by providing additional funds geared to poorer school districts and with changes to the outdated and unfair state education foundation budget. While the Governor’s plan does eventually take the state to $1 billion in increased education spending, that number is not reached for seven years. With all due respect, our students cannot wait that long. As the legislature takes up this proposal, they need to dramatically shorten that timeline.
The Senate President, House Speaker and now Gov. Baker all agree — Massachusetts cannot continue to starve the schools of Holyoke, Worcester and New Bedford. Now the parents of Stand for Children will make their voices heard at the Statehouse to be certain that this is not a Band-Aid approach but instead a lasting, meaningful change in how schools are funded.
Contact your state legislators now and tell them to take up the funding proposal and dramatically shorten the timeline for additional funding.