Save Our Public Schools is a grassroots coalition of education, parent, student and community groups that supports quality public schools for all and opposes a November ballot question that would lift the cap on privately run, publicly funded Commonwealth charter schools.
The ballot question would allow the state to approve 12 new Commonwealth charter schools every year forever, eventually draining billions of dollars from our schools and destabilizing our public education system. It would encourage charters to expand into areas where they don’t exist now, taking critical resources away from successful public schools.
This year alone, charters will divert more than $400 million from public schools. That’s money districts desperately need so they can offer more science, technology, arts and music classes, as well as preschool services and smaller class sizes. The money should be kept in the public schools for the benefit of all students.
Charter schools are not accountable to their local communities. The state often approves them over the united opposition of the communities where they will be located. That’s wrong. Local communities should have the final say on what kinds of schools they want.
Charter schools are divisive, creating a two-track system described by the NAACP as “separate and unequal.” They typically underserve English language learners and special needs students, leaving public schools with fewer resources to educate a higher-need population.
Pro-charter groups have millions of dollars from hedge funds and corporate backers. We rely on people power to stand up for the students in our public schools. If some of our public schools are falling short, we should fix them — not keep taking money away and giving it to unaccountable charters.
Save Our Public Schools is a grassroots organization of Massachusetts families, parents, educators and students opposed to the ballot initiative to lift the charter school cap in Massachusetts. The MTA is a leading participant in this campaign, working closely with other members of the Massachusetts Education Justice Alliance.
Join ‘Raise Up Massachusetts‘ in the campaign for the Fair Share amendment to the State Constitution to set aside 4 cents for every dollar of taxable income over one million dollars, to be earmarked for education and transportation. If successful, it would bring an estimated additional 2 billion dollars in state revenue to support the citizens of the Commonwealth.
From the campaign website:
The best way to help working families and build a stronger economy for us all is to make sure that we have quality public schools for our children, affordable public higher education, and a transportation system that allows people get to school or work, lets customers get to businesses, and helps everyone fulfill their daily tasks. Without investment in these common goals, working families fall behind and our communities suffer. New revenue is necessary to rebuild crumbling roads, bridges, and paths, improve our public schools, invest in fast and reliable public transportation, make public higher education affordable, expand opportunities for healthy walking and bicycling, and give every child access to high-quality early childhood education and preschool programs.
Below is the full text of the proposed amendment:
Amendment Article XLIV of the Massachusetts Constitution is hereby amended by adding the following paragraph at the end thereof: To provide the resources for quality public education and affordable public colleges and universities, and for the repair and maintenance of roads, bridges and public transportation, all revenues received in accordance with this paragraph shall be expended, subject to appropriation, only for these purposes. In addition to the taxes on income otherwise authorized under this Article, there shall be an additional tax of 4 percent on that portion of annual taxable income in excess of $1,000,000 (one million dollars) reported on any return related to those taxes. To ensure that this additional tax continues to apply only to the commonwealth’s highest income residents, this $1,000,000 (one million dollar) income level shall be adjusted annually to reflect any increases in the cost of living by the same method used for federal income tax brackets. This paragraph shall apply to all tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2019.