The Save Our Public Schools (SOPS) campaign to keep the cap on charter schools is heating up. The delegates to MTA’s Annual Meeting voted on May 14 to fully fund our share of the campaign expenses. We are committed to winning this issue on the ballot in November. SOPS organizers have been hired and will be working with MTA members and staff, as well as with other members of the coalition, to organize against lifting the cap. These local efforts will be supplemented by a full-blown campaign that involves advertising. But we need to win this on the ground in our communities, not just on the air.
To build momentum as we head into June, the campaign is planning a Week of Action from June 6-10. The threat to our members and to public education from an unlimited number of charter schools is very real. We will lose if we sit this one out, but we can win if we work together with allies representing parents, students and other public school advocates.
Week of Action — June 6-10
GOAL: Connect Save Our Public Schools to local education issues and the November ballot question
Save Our Public Schools was launched in March to fight the proposed ballot measure to lift the cap on charter schools – schools that already drain more than $400 million a year from our district public schools. The MTA is a major participant in the “keep the cap” effort. Heading into June, we are intensifying our local outreach efforts. MTA members are encouraged to participate in some or all of the activities planned for a Week of Action from June 6-10. This is a great opportunity to identify supporters, collect commitment cards and raise public awareness about the issue.
I know that this is a very difficult time for educators...grades, cleaning rooms, end-of-year issues and reports take up most of the limited energy that you have left. I get that-I'm a 4th grade teacher at the Murphy School. But the Charter School lifting-of-the-cap issue is fundamentally important to all of us as professionals and I can't fight it here in Weymouth by myself!!!
The eight towns in our Senate district have decided to work together this week during MTA's "Week of Action" on Charter School schools by having two visibilities (sign-holding events) this week. The first isWednesday from 3-5 PM at the intersection of routes 123 and 53 (Assinippi corner). We are asking educators to give us one hour within that time frame. The second is Thursday at the Derby Street Shoppes in Hingham from 3-5 PM. There will be yellow signs saying "Save Our Public Schools" available to hold. Most people passing won't really know what the issue is but there will be plenty of time from now to November to educate the citizens on the danger to public schools of lifting the cap on Charter Schools.Again, we are asking for one hour from you to support your profession. One hour. Pick a location, show up and support each other!
In addition, Ydana Chella will be delivering stickers, signs and postcards to the building reps. this week, please pass these out to your staff to use these to let families, neighbors and friends know about the campaign to Save our Public Schools!
For more information, go to massteacher.org/charterschools and saveourpublicschoolsma.com
President - WEA