It’s undeniable that reopening Massachusetts’ public schools and colleges safely this fall will cost significantly more than in pre-COVID times. But due to uncertainty about the state’s commitment to funding public education, school districts all across the state are making budget cuts and laying off educators, and our public colleges are slashing their already-bare-bones budgets.
We can’t allow low-income students, students with disabilities, and English learners to fall behind while students in wealthy school districts move ahead, but that’s exactly what will happen if the state fails to act.
The chronic underfunding of predominantly Black and Brown schools and public colleges is a clear reflection of the structural racism in Massachusetts’s education funding system, and failing to fix it now would deepen the racial inequity in our schools at a time when our state leaders are professing their commitment to racial justice.
Now more than ever, we must fund public education in order to fully recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, restore our economy, address longstanding racial disparities, and build a better society. This will require new revenue at the federal, state, and local levels.
The federal HEROES Act, passed by the U.S. House in May, would provide Massachusetts with $1.5 billion in education funding, but Senate Republicans are refusing to bring it to a vote.
Tell your elected state officials to commit to fully funding public schools and colleges in Massachusetts, and ask Governor Charlie Baker to use his relationships with fellow Republicans to push for the passage of the HEROES Act.