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 phase-in:
“Representatives took a historic vote to pass the Student Opportunity Act today. 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 the past year, and the idea that we would win $1.5 billion for public school students was thought to be impossible by many when we started this fight. After this vote, that funding has been secured in both the House and the Senate.
While the final House bill does not achieve the proper balance between local control and state oversight, Massachusetts residents know we can improve our local schools if we empower students, parents, and educators. More work will be needed to ensure that parents and educators have meaningful input into how dollars are spent.
The differences between the House and Senate are clearly bridgeable. We look forward to a quick resolution of those differences in the conference committee so students and communities have certainty that they will begin to benefit from this law as soon as possible.”
The Fund Our Future campaign was formed to end the generation-long underfunding of local public schools and public colleges and universities in Massachusetts and is endorsed by the following members: Act on Mass, AFT Massachusetts, Alliance for Brookline Schools, Asian American Resource Workshop, Boston Democratic Socialists of America (BDSA), Boston Education Equity Coalition, Boston Education Justice Alliance, Boston Teachers Union, CEPA at UMass Amherst, Citizens for Public Schools, College Dems of MA, Hampshire Franklin Labor Council, Interfaith Worker Justice, JALSA, Jewish Labor Committee, La Communidad, La Voz de la Comunidad – Framingham, Local 26 Unite Here, Lowell Education Justice Alliance, Mass COSH, Massachusetts Communities Action Network , Massachusetts Education Justice Alliance, Massachusetts Jobs with Justice, Massachusetts Teachers Association, Massachusetts Voter Table, Merrimack Valley Central Labor Council, MNA, NAACP New England Area Conference, North Shore Labor Council, Pioneer Valley Labor Council, Pioneer Valley Street Heat, Progressive Massachusetts, Public Higher Education Network of Massachusetts (PHENOM), PUMA Parent Union of Mass, QUEST (Quality Education for Every Student), Revere Youth in Action, SEIU 888, Showing Up for Racial Justice, Tikkun Olam Congregation Bnai Israel Northampton, Union of Minority Neighborhoods, Women Encouraging Empowerment, and Youth on Board.