House Votes to Leave Out Thousands of ELL & Low-Income Students from Foundation Budget Fix

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Boston, Massachusetts — July 11, 2018

Today, the State House of Representatives voted to move a school funding bill forward that leaves behind thousands of English language learners and low-income students. This confirms our deep concerns about the House’s approach to fixing the Foundation Budget and its commitment to racial and economic justice.

“The only way to remedy the situation is to bring the bills urgently to a conference committee where the House and Senate must agree to reinsert the ELL and low-income recommendations of the Foundation Budget Review Commission,” said Charlotte Kelly, executive director of MEJA. “Without those key provisions, we are telling low-income and ELL students that funding their education is not an urgent priority.”

Any school funding bill that does not include every recommendation of the Foundation Budget Review Commission (FBRC) is not modernization, and parents, students and teachers across the state will not stand by and allow their students and schools to continue to be ignored by Beacon Hill.

“Closing the achievement gap for students of color is the highest advocacy priority for the NAACP - New England Area Conference (NEAC) today because we know that students’ upward mobility in society is greatly determined by their academic achievement,” said Juan Cofield, President of the NAACP-NEAC and Treasurer of MEJA. “We believe that students should not be handicapped by their skin color, income status, national origin or lack of reasonable accommodations for disabilities.”

MEJA will demand that any conference committee report on a Foundation Budget fix will include all students, especially low-income and ELL students.

“Instead of using their power to help all students, House leaders have sold out Black and Brown students by failing to include the two most important racial justice fixes for school funding. They have decided to leave some students behind against the will of their members, the voters and the Commission,” said Ruby Reyes of the Boston Education Justice Alliance. “Policy and budgets are about values, and the House has decided that some kids will have to wait another year at the back of the line.”

Contact:
Charlotte Kelly | (617) 909-0408 | charlotte@massedjustice.org

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MEJA is a grassroots coalition of students, parents, educators and community members who stand united in support of universal, free, and equitable public education for all students from Pre-K through college.