THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND COLLEGES OUR COMMUNITIES DESERVE
We are students, parents, community members, educators and union members who stand united in support of the most essential public good, one conceived in our state two centuries ago: universal, free public education. We believe that public education, pre-kindergarten through college, is the foundation of our democracy. Public education must be protected and “cherished,” as our state Constitution demands. Our communities deserve high-quality public schools and colleges that address the educational needs of the whole student and that are places of joy, creativity and critical thinking. Our schools and colleges must be places where community and relationships are valued and nourished; where we name, confront, and undo racism; where we actively work to counter the school-to-prison pipeline; where our immigrant and refugee neighbors are welcome; where scholars engage in research for the common good; and where students are supported and given the freedom to become independent thinkers, questioners and conscientious citizens. Our schools and colleges must be accessible to all, regardless of income, race, ethnicity, gender identity, religion, birthplace or unique needs and abilities.
FULLY FUND PUBLIC EDUCATION
The state must invest $2 billion in our pre-k-12 public schools and in our public colleges to hire the number of educators needed and to provide the services students deserve.
SECURE FAIR, PROGRESSIVE TAXES FOR PUBLIC EDUCATION
We must pass the “Millionaires' Tax” or Fair Share Amendment to the Massachusetts Constitution in 2018 so we can adequately fund our public schools and colleges.
PROVIDE DEBT-FREE PUBLIC HIGHER EDUCATION
Cost should not be a barrier to higher education. We demand that Massachusetts catch up to Georgia, New York, Rhode Island and Tennessee by committing ourselves to debt-free public higher education for every person in the Commonwealth.
LESS TESTING, MORE LEARNING
Our current system uses standardized exams to test, label, and punish students and educators. It shuts down the critical thinking students need to become questioners, independent thinkers and conscientious citizens. We call for a three-year moratorium on using test results to stigmatize and punish students and teachers and to privatize, take over or close schools.
DEMAND LIVING WAGES AND PAID FAMILY & MEDICAL LEAVE FOR ALL WORKERS
Children need and deserve to live in homes where parents have jobs that pay them a living wage, and are available to care for the family in times of need. We will fight for a $15 minimum hourly wage and paid family and medical leave for all.
ENSURE EDUCATORS HAVE A VOICE AT WORK
The working conditions for educators are the learning conditions for students. The needs and interests of students are directly undermined when educators are denied a voice in the workplace. We must uphold collective bargaining rights and retirement security for educators.
END THE SCHOOL-TO-PRISON PIPELINE
We demand policies that end the school-to-prison pipeline: a deep democratic engagement of students and families in building a positive school culture; establishing restorative justice policies to replace suspensions; and diminishing the importance of standardized tests.
PROTECT OUR COMMUNITIES
Our schools and communities must be safe for every community member. We support legislation that will make Massachusetts a sanctuary state, and we encourage all cities and towns to declare sanctuary status.
BUILDING A MOVEMENT FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE
Large corporations, billionaires, and their lobbyists are attacking more than just education. Public transportation, the climate and environment, communities of color, public housing, food assistance, health care, civil rights, LGBTQ rights, and workers’ rights are all under assault. By uniting our struggles, we can fight more effectively for a just society and future.