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MEJA Announces New Executive Director Vatsady Sivongxay

The Massachusetts Education Justice Alliance (MEJA), the statewide coalition of parents, students, educators, and community activists that most recently led the campaign to pass the state’s landmark Student Opportunity Act, today announced the hiring of the coalition’s new executive director, Vatsady Sivongxay. She will succeed Charlotte Kelly, who stepped down from the role of MEJA [...]

Lobbying begins on what to do next on budget

As Beacon Hill on Wednesday began trying to find consensus on the budget challenges facing the state, key interest groups began jockeying on how best to respond.  The Fund Our Future campaign, which successfully pressured Beacon Hill to boost funding for public schools prior to the pandemic, called for raising revenues to plug the billions of dollars in holes emerging in the [...]

New Revenue Needed to Fully Fund the Student Opportunity Act, Invest in Public Colleges and Universities

BOSTON – The Fund Our Future campaign today issued the following statement regarding the revenue hearing being held by the Ways and Means committee today: “Last year, Massachusetts made a commitment to fully and equitably fund our public schools. We made a promise to low-income students, students of color and English learners, who had been [...]

Massachusetts Students & Parents Share Concerns About Unsafe School Reopenings

Massachusetts Education Justice Alliance Calls for Health and Safety Criteria To Be Met Before In-Person Learning Resumes; Increased Focus on Stable Remote Learning Experience BOSTON – In a virtual press conference hosted by the Massachusetts Education Justice Alliance today, students and parents from cities across Massachusetts shared their concerns about the possibility of unsafe school reopenings [...]

Now, more than ever, we must fund public education

The COVID-19 pandemic and recession have caused unprecedented trauma and disruption for students and workers in our public schools and colleges. Now more than ever, our federal, state and local governments must provide public schools and colleges with the funding needed to support our students and sustain our economy.   Support students and families We [...]

Fund Our Future Campaign Statement on School Reopening Guidance

Full Funding of Student Opportunity Act Needed to Re-open Schools Safely June 25, 2020   BOSTON – The Fund Our Future campaign today issued the following statement regarding the “Initial Fall School Reopening Guidance” released by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education today: “It’s undeniable that reopening Massachusetts schools safely this fall will [...]

Public Higher Education Advocacy Day is Monday, March 2

Join students, families, staff, faculty, and community activists at Public Higher Education Advocacy Day 2020 on Monday, March 2, at the Massachusetts State House. This is our opportunity to call on our legislators to #FundOurFuture and pass the Cherish Act, which would increase funding for our public colleges and universities and freeze tuition and fees. […]

House and Senate Unanimously Pass Student Opportunity Act

On Nov. 20, the Massachusetts House and Senate unanimously approved the landmark Student Opportunity Act. The Fund Our Future coalition issued the following statement when the conference committee’s version of the Student Opportunity Act was released the preceding day, Nov. 19. The Fund Our Future campaign today issued the following statement regarding the release of [...]

House passes historic education funding bill

Representatives took a historic vote to pass the Student Opportunity on Oct. 23, 2019. One that will impact future generations by providing countless children the education they deserve. Tens of thousands of students, parents, union educators, and community advocates across the state have taken action to demand full and equitable funding for public schools over [...]

Mass. House Unanimously Passes Student Opportunity Act

BOSTON – The Fund Our Future campaign issued the following statement regarding the House’s passage of the amended Student Opportunity Act on October 23rd. The bill would implement the recommendations of the 2015 Foundation Budget Review Commission and increase state PreK-12 aid to local districts by $1.5 billion per year over inflation, after a seven-year [...]

Campaign Statement on Education Committee School Funding Bill

The Fund Our Future campaign today issued the following statement regarding the public K-12 school funding bill released by the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Education: “We are cautiously optimistic about the thoughtful legislation released by the Joint Committee on Education. We need to fully examine the details, of course, but a much deserved victory is […]

More Than 100 School Committees, Local Governing Boards Support Promise Act

Local Elected Officials Call for Passage of Equitable School Funding Legislation With another school year under way and still no action from the Massachusetts legislature on equitable school funding legislation, the Fund Our Future campaign today announced that more than 100 democratically elected school committees and other local governing boards across the state have passed [...]

Report: Nearly $1 billion gulf between two leading school-funding bills

A nearly $1 billion gulf exists between the two leading proposals on Beacon Hill to boost spending on public schools, according to a report being released Monday that sheds light on the immense challenges lawmakers face in trying to reach a compromise. On the low end of the spectrum is Governor Charlie Baker’s proposal, which [...]

Parents to file civil rights lawsuit against state over unequal school funding

Parents from seven Massachusetts school districts, frustrated by the Legislature’s inability to overhaul school funding, plan to file a lawsuit against state education leaders Thursday for allegedly violating the civil rights of low-income, black, and Latino students by failing to provide them with the same quality of education as their mostly white affluent peers. The [...]

Voters open to higher taxes to level education inequality in Mass., poll says

As the Legislature grapples with how to fund public education, the majority of Massachusetts voters say they are willing to pay more in taxes — or give up some education funding in their own communities — to funnel more money toward low-income or low-performing school districts. Sixty percent of the registered voters who participated in a Suffolk University/Boston Globe [...]

State’s low-income children deserve better education

As members of the New England Patriots, we’ve been fortunate to visit schools across the state to talk to kids about the importance of their education. We’ve read stories to elementary school students, sitting on carpeted floors in large libraries filled wall-to-wall with books and colorful seating areas. Yet we’ve also visited schools where we [...]

Melrose teachers rally for education: “Fund Our Future”

On Thursday, May 16, hundreds of teachers, students, and others gathered at the State House in Boston and other locations in Massachusetts for the Fund Our Future rallies, advocating for revisions to the state’s public education funding formula. Several Melrose educators were among them. We asked a few questions of one, Anahí Pari-di-Monriva, a teacher [...]

Amid growing pressure, lawmakers push to overhaul school funding formula

Towns are threatening lawsuits. Teachers, students, and other activists thronged the State House and the Boston Common demanding more money for schools. Officials in struggling urban districts say they’re counting on the Legislature to deliver a revamped funding formula by the time they start the next school year. Amid this external pressure, the House and [...]

Thousands March on the State House, Rally for Public Education Funding

Day of Action Highlights Urgent Need for Major Reinvestment in Public Schools, Colleges, and Universities BOSTON – Thousands of students, educators, parents, and other supporters of public education rallied, blew whistles, and marched on the State House today to demand passage of bills that would increase state funding for preK-12 public schools by more than [...]

Cape educators target flawed funding

Cape teachers unions and school officials are joining a campaign by the Massachusetts Teachers Association to increase state funding and bring millions of extra dollars to public schools on the Cape and Islands. “The funding formula needs to be fixed,” said Lauri Gilbert, a Bourne teacher and president of the Bourne Educators Association. The union [...]

Reduction in state funding for Massachusetts public colleges has increased tuition costs and student loan debt, study finds

A reduction in state funding for public higher education in Massachusetts and other New England states has resulted in increased tuitions, fees and student debt, according to a new analysis by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. A report shared by the Federal Reserve of Boston on Thursday, conducted by a team of researchers, found that in [...]

Local pols say Baker ed plan not enough

BOSTON -- Education activists agree Massachusetts public schools are hurting for attention, and although Gov. Charlie Baker attempted to bring certain issues to light with his new education reform plan, local lawmakers say it's not enough. The plan that Baker recently unveiled in his fiscal 2020 budget proposal would pour an additional $1.1 billion into [...]

A few districts would benefit greatly from Baker’s school funding proposal

Governor Charlie Baker’s proposal to tackle the state’s school funding woes would funnel notable increases in state aid next year to several cities, but it would offer little financial relief to most other systems, many struggling under the state’s property tax cap, according to a Globe review. The divide is the result of a specific [...]

Fund Our Future Campaign Responds to Governor Baker’s Budget

BOSTON – Lisa Guisbond, Executive Director of Citizens for Public Schools and a leader of the Fund Our Future campaign of students, educators, parents and community leaders from across Massachusetts, today issued the following statement regarding Governor Charlie Baker’s budget proposal: “It’s nice to see Governor Baker finally admit that our public schools and colleges [...]

Advocates aim to add over $500 million a year to Massachusetts public higher education funding

When Paul Mark was 19, he realized he would have to leave the University of Massachusetts. He could no longer afford to attend school. “It was one of the worst days of my life,” Mark said. A few years later, Mark got a job at a phone company, which had a benefit that paid 85 [...]

Fund Our Future Coalition Announces Full Legislative Package

CHERISH Act to Fund Public Higher Education Unveiled; Coalition Launches Petition Calling for Passage of 2 Bills This Spring   BOSTON – Students, educators, parents, and community leaders from across Massachusetts gathered in Nurses Hall at the State House today to announce the Fund Our Future coalition’s full legislative package, designed to end the generation-long [...]

Hampshire state senator files bill for more public higher education funding

BOSTON (WWLP) - First-year State Senator Jo Comerford filed her first bill in the legislature, calling for more public higher education funding. The Cherish Act, proposed by Hampshire County State Senator Comerford is designed to re-invest in the state's public colleges. In 2014, The Higher Education Finance Commission found that, since 2001, state funding for [...]

Leaders lobby for education money

BOSTON – Students, educators, parents and community leaders – including local lawmakers and Greenfield Community College’s new president – coalesced at the State House Wednesday to lobby for more state funding for public education. At the event, legislators unveiled the CHERISH Act, filed by Senator Jo Comerford and Rep. Paul Mark, both of whom represent Franklin County towns. [...]

Proposed bill filed by Sen. Comerford aims to address higher ed funding gap

NORTHAMPTON — A bill seeking to address a more than $500 million annual gap in funding for public colleges and universities, filed Wednesday by lead sponsor Sen. Jo Comerford, D-Northampton, is part of a package aimed at restoring the state’s commitment to public education from preschool through higher education. The Cherish Act, along with the [...]

Forum on state education funding draws a crowd

EASTHAMPTON — The debate over how the state funds education played out in the Eastworks building on Wednesday night where more than 100 people, including area lawmakers, packed into a room to discuss how and why it should be changed. The forum on public education funding was led by the Massachusetts Teachers Association and several [...]

Another Push To Revamp School Funding: Will It Pass This Time?

Here we go again! State Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz has again put forward an ambitious bill to increase funding for Massachusetts public schools. Again, a large and vocal coalition has assembled behind it. And yet the new bill’s path to passage remains uncertain, though it does have some powerful new supporters. Last summer, the Jamaica Plain Democrat watched [...]

Marty Walsh, others again go to bat for higher school funding

The effort to overhaul school funding in the state is expected to receive a big boost Wednesday when Mayor Martin J. Walsh plans to throw his support behind a revamped bill that could provide hundreds of millions of additional dollars to public schools. The legislation would guarantee a minimum amount of state aid to all [...]

Massachusetts education funding bill supported by teachers, mayors, advocates would cost up to $2 billion a year

BOSTON —A large coalition of politicians, mayors, teachers and education advocates are throwing their support behind a new bill that could eventually increase state education funding by between $1 billion and $2 billion a year. “It affects every district across the commonwealth, those that are fluent, those that are struggling. There’s something in there for [...]

Local leaders denounce growing inequities in school funding

An outdated school funding formula in Massachusetts is putting a severe strain on district budgets and deepening inequities in the educational system, a panel of school and other municipal leaders warned at a regional forum Tuesday at Malden High School. Speaking to a crowd of more than 350 people that included parents, teachers, and local [...]

Central Mass. school chiefs rip ‘unsustainable’ funding formula

FITCHBURG – Lamenting their districts’ inability to keep up with mounting financial obligations, representatives from nearly a dozen school districts in the region at a public forum Tuesday night called on the state to finally overhaul its public education funding formula for the first time in 25 years. About 100 people were in the audience [...]

Mayors backing education funding reform

BOSTON — The latest push in the years-long effort to reform the school funding formula will take on more shape this week, with advocates, educators and lawmakers gathering for a press conference in support of a bill that will likely be filed on Tuesday. The bill — dubbed the Education PROMISE Act, for “Providing Rightful [...]

Strong turnout at education funding forum in Orange

ORANGE — In a high-ceiling room where students are encouraged every day to think and learn, about 135 adults were told Monday to use their imaginations. Imagine a state in which Orange and Athol could afford to spend money on education the way Wellesley or Lincoln does, imagine class sizes of 16, imagine all school [...]

Boston, Holyoke mayors backing education funding push

BOSTON (SHNS) - The latest push in the years-long effort to reform the school funding formula will take on more shape this week, with advocates, educators and lawmakers gathering for a press conference in support of a bill that will likely be filed on Tuesday. The bill -- dubbed the Education PROMISE Act, for "Providing [...]

Education funding shaping up to be a top Massachusetts legislative issue in 2019

BOSTON — Education funding is shaping up to be a top priority for the Massachusetts Legislature as lawmakers return to Beacon Hill this month. The House and Senate last year both agreed that the state’s education funding formula, which determines how money is distributed to Massachusetts’ public schools, is underfunding schools and needs to be [...]

Public Education Coalition Seeks $1.5 Billion in MA State Budget

BOSTON – At a rally at the State House this week, a coalition announced its plans for new legislation to ensure more funding for public schools and colleges. The Fund Our Future coalition says schools have been under-funded for years, and wants the Massachusetts Legislature to increase the public education budget by $1.5 billion. Zac [...]

Teachers union launches campaign to increase school funding

Educators across the state launched a grassroots campaign this week to put pressure on the Legislature to address the $1.5 billion funding deficit in state public school spending. The Massachusetts Teachers Association and the Boston Teachers Union are leading a coalition of community, civic and faith groups that have joined the Fund Our Future campaign [...]

Coalition fights for school funding

A group of educators, students and parents met at the State House Tuesday to launch their new coalition “Fund Our Future,” which focuses on bringing equitable learning to all Massachusetts students from kindergarten to college. The group, comprised of nearly a dozen organizations, wants the state to look at its 25-year-old funding formula and at [...]

‘We Can’t Wait!’ – A Call for Major Reinvestment in Public Education This Year

‘Fund Our Future’ Coalition Demands Equal Access to Great Public Education From Prekindergarten Through College BOSTON – Students, educators, parents, and community leaders from across Massachusetts today filled a hearing room at the State House to call on Governor Charlie Baker and the Legislature to end the generation-long underfunding of local public schools and public [...]

Education activists call on state lawmakers to invest more in public education

 BOSTON (WWLP) - Parents and teachers from across Massachusetts gathered at the State House on Tuesday to demand better public education. Members of the Fund Our Future campaign are asking lawmakers to reinvest more than $500 million in the state's K-12 and public university system. Organizers of the event said the money is not just necessary, it's long overdue. [...]

New coalition will push for more education funding in Massachusetts

BOSTON — A new coalition will launch Tuesday to push lawmakers to provide more money for public education. “We’re basically just calling on legislators to keep their promise to cherish our public schools and fund them adequately,” said Lisa Guisbond, executive director of Citizens for Public Schools, an advocacy group founded to support public K-12 [...]

Campaign eyes $1.5 billion more for education

BOSTON -- The Massachusetts Teachers Association is pushing lawmakers to increase state funding for public education by more than $1.5 billion a year by May 1, a campaign the union's board unanimously threw its support behind on Saturday. "For far too long, the state has underfunded public education," union vice president Max Page said in [...]

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