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Speak Up for the Student Opportunity Act

Massachusetts is now one step closer to fulfilling its promise of fully and equitably fund public schools for all. Contact your legislators to make sure the best possible bill is enacted!

The Massachusetts House of Representatives and Senate have unanimously approved their own versions of the Student Opportunity Act, the Senate on Oct. 3 and the House on Oct. 23. The two chambers must work out remaining differences before sending a final bill to Governor Charlie Baker. They plan to act swiftly in the hopes of enacting a bill before the Legislature recesses on November 20. Contact them now!

Both bills increase annual state education spending by $1.5 billion as of 2027, which is game-changer for students, particularly in low-income communities. However, their accountability provisions differ. While neither bill modifies current laws relating to schools designated “underperforming,” the House bill gives the commissioner of education more authority to direct spending plans in all districts. The Senate version – strongly favored by the Fund Our Future coalition – keeps that authority where it belongs: with local communities. 

Urge your representative and senator to tell legislative leaders they want spending decisions made closer to the classroom. It’s the democratic way. Local school committee members who make bad decisions can be voted out of office; the appointed commissioner of education cannot. 

Act now. Massachusetts students can’t wait!

Download a Fact Sheet on Senate Version of the Student Opportunity Act

1.

Send an email letter to your state legislators here:

Send an email letter using the form below to let your state legislators know you want spending decisions made closer to the classroom.

Draft Letter & Phone Script:

The following is a script you can use to email or call your legislators. Send an email letter using the tool below and click the link to look up your legislators’ phone numbers after you’ve sent your email letter.

Thank you for supporting the Student Opportunity Act. The new funding will make a huge difference for students across the state, particularly in our low-income communities.

The language in this bill will shape public education in Massachusetts for years to come, if not decades. It is critically important to get this right. Differences still remain in the accountability provisions. Please let your legislative leaders know that you support these principles.

– While the commissioner of education has a role to play in advising districts on the development of these plans under both bills, he should not have the power to withhold funds under this act or to require specific programs or interventions beyond the considerable authority the commissioner already has under existing state laws.

– Parents and educators should have a big role to play in the development of district plans via existing advisory committees along with any new mechanisms a district chooses to develop.

Many educators, parents and local education authorities already know what their students need, whether that’s a new STEAM initiative, wraparound services, smaller class sizes, more common planning time for teachers, more classroom aides or something else altogether. Providing local communities with resources to implement their priorities, and sparing them from excessive new regulations, are the keys to creating the schools our students and communities deserve.

Thank you.

Letter & Phone Script:

The following is a script you can use to email or call your legislators. Send an email letter using the tool to the right and click the link to look up phone numbers for your state representative or senator after you’ve sent your email letter.

Massachusetts Students Can’t Wait!

Thank you for supporting the Student Opportunity Act. The new funding will make a huge difference for students across the state, particularly in our low-income communities.

The language in this bill will shape public education in Massachusetts for years to come, if not decades. It is critically important to get this right. Differences still remain in the accountability provisions. Please let your legislative leaders know that you support these principles.

– While the commissioner of education has a role to play in advising districts on the development of these plans under both bills, he should not have the power to withhold funds under this act or to require specific programs or interventions beyond the considerable authority the commissioner already has under existing state laws.

– Parents and educators should have a big role to play in the development of district plans via existing advisory committees along with any new mechanisms a district chooses to develop.

Many educators, parents and local education authorities already know what their students need, whether that’s a new STEAM initiative, wraparound services, smaller class sizes, more common planning time for teachers, more classroom aides or something else altogether. Providing local communities with resources to implement their priorities, and sparing them from excessive new regulations, are the keys to creating the schools our students and communities deserve.

Thank you.

2.

If you don’t know your state representative or state senator’s phone number, look it up here:

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