It’s undeniable that reopening Massachusetts’ public schools and colleges safely requires state and federal funding for upgrades to many schools buildings. But the Governor’s latest budget proposal cuts much-needed funding for improvements in K- 12 education programs in school districts all across the state, with the biggest cuts In the high-poverty districts hit hardest by the pandemic. And the Governor only level-funds our public colleges and universities that are operating on already-bare-bones budgets.
We can’t allow an entire class of students to be left behind because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Low-income students, students with disabilities, and English learners who were already stuck in under-funded schools will fall even further behind, while students in wealthy school districts move ahead with high-end technology and comprehensive remote learning. That’s exactly what will happen if the state fails to fully fund the Student Opportunity Act.
Now more than ever, we must fully 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. If this requires new revenue at the state level, the state should tax the large corporations and wealthy shareholders that are profiting during the pandemic.
Tell Governor Baker and the legislature to fully fund the Student Opportunity Act and our public colleges and universities in Massachusetts.
To: Governor Baker, Senator Rush, Representative Malia
From: [YOUR NAME]
As public schools and colleges struggle to reopen this fall, the Commonwealth must address more than just the physical health of students. Many young people require enhanced educational opportunities, technology, health and guidance services, and more. Students need social and emotional support, reliable access to healthy food and housing, and the time and space to focus on learning.
Our colleges and universities must be accessible and affordable for students, including older nontraditional students looking to pursue a degree or certificate after losing their job due to the COVID 19 pandemic. Now more than ever, students burdened by debt and facing a difficult job market need affordable public higher education.
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. That starts with fully funding the state’s commitment to the Student Opportunity Act on the promised schedule, and providing college students and their families with debt relief and fully-funded public colleges and universities.
This will require new revenue. We urge you to commit to support new funding sources in order to fully fund public schools and colleges in Massachusetts.