MEJA North Shore Activists Pressure Legislators to Ditch School Takeover Zones

North Shore Community Briefing on April 12th, 2018. (Zac Bears/PHENOM)

North Shore Community Briefing on April 12th, 2018. (Zac Bears/PHENOM)

MEJA North Shore prevented the expansion of two charter schools in Lynn and hosted a community briefing with seven lawmakers connecting the issues of education justice to economic justice..

The MEJA North Shore table celebrated a huge victory in February as the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) voted against proposals to open two new charter schools in Lynn. After months of fighting against the KIPP charter school expansion and the proposed Equity Lab charter, community members are elated to see the Board side with the community on the issue of charter expansion. Parents, teachers, and students were happy to hear that more public funds would not be leaving the public schools in Lynn thanks to the work of parents and local unions working together.

The MEJA North Shore table had a busy spring in addition to the defeat of charter school expansion.

MEJA North Shore worked with Raise Up Massachusetts to put together a Community Briefing with seven lawmakers and over 100 community members across the street from Charlie Baker’s house in Swampscott. At the briefing, activists came together to pressure the North Shore legislative delegation to support the $15 minimum wage, Paid Family and Medical Leave, and fully funding public education by updating the foundation budget funding formula.

Activists asked legislators to take a side on school privatization and the ‘Innovation Partnership Zones’ (a/k/a school takeover zones) legislation supported by state Education Secretary Peyser and Governor Baker. The full North Shore delegation agreed that takeover zone legislation is bad for students, bad for teachers and bad for our schools.   

The MEJA North Shore table is working to hold lawmakers to their commitments on fully fund our public schools, ensure the passage of the $15 minimum wage and Paid Family and Medical Leave, and prevent the further privatization of our public schools. MEJA North Shore plans to follow up with in-district meetings with legislators and planning more opportunities to inform people on the North Shore about how education funding works here in Massachusetts.