The following was read by the Framingham Teachers Association President Christine Mulroney at the Framingham School Committee meeting on Wednesday night during public comment. It was also submitted to SOURCE.
I am here tonight to voice the Framingham Teacher Association’s support for the Promise Act, which provides the best path toward fully funding public education in the state.
Compared to other funding proposals, the Promise Act most fully meets the goals outlined in the Foundation Budget Review Commission’s report.
With the Promise Act, the increase over baseline in chapter 70 aid from the state in FY20 is $181 million. Governor Baker’s education bill in comparison -ncreases chapter 70 aid in FY20 by $43 million.
We encourage you to demand what we need and join with educators across he state to support the Promise Act.
Governor Baker’s education bill is not what this community needs.
Baker’s proposal gives the commissioner of education the power to withhold funds from districts deemed “low-performing.”
This means more bureaucracy, more testing and less time on authentic teaching.
We also support the Promise Act because three quarters of the new funding would go to the 20 percent of districts with the largest percentages of low- income enrollment.
More accountability isn’t the problem; educators and students have had more than 25 years of ever increasing accountability measures, but no commensurate increase in funding. It’s time to give districts the resources they need. That’s the priority.
Stand for Children has recently re-entered Massachusetts amid the school funding debate. This organization has been active in promoting charter school growth and derives much of its national funding from the same sources that supported Question 2 and the attempted charter school expansion in 2016. Stand for Children cannot be considered a pro-public-education group given its history of support for privatization of public schools.
The School Committee, Administration, and the FTA have been working collaboratively on many issues over the last 2 years, including advocating for more education funding.
We agree that the expertise to meet our students’ needs exists right here in our community. Public education should not be placed under the control of private entities, empowerment zone management firms or charter schools. This only drains our schools of the necessary funds to give our students what they deserve.
Framingham teachers are headed to a rally on Boston Common on May 16th to advocate for the additional funding our community deserves and the Promise Act provides. A bus leaves from Framingham High at 4 p.m. If you would like to join us, please go to the Framingham Teachers Association
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