This is a great day for Massachusetts, the birthplace of free, universal public education.
Tonight’s defeat of Question 2 is a victory for the students of Massachusetts, our communities and our democracy.
The ballot question campaign pitted hedge fund billionaires, dark money and the governor against educators, students, parents and labor. And the people of the Commonwealth won. They asserted their commitment to public education through a monumental grassroots effort that included months of canvassing, phone banking and other kinds of conversations.
“The ballot question campaign pitted hedge fund billionaires, dark money and the governor against educators, students, parents and labor. And the people of the Commonwealth won.”
— MTA President Barbara Madeloni
The MTA is proud to have been a founding member of the Save Our Public Schools coalition. Our strength as educators multiplied as we worked alongside parents, students, civil rights leaders, labor and faith-based groups and other community organizations. Elected leaders throughout the state, including leaders of the Democratic Party, worked hard to defeat Question 2. Our pledge going forward is to sustain and build this coalition so that together we can effectively create and support the schools that students, educators and our communities deserve.
MTA members contributed significantly to this effort, both in time and money. Last May, delegates to our Annual Meeting voted overwhelmingly to help fund the campaign to support our public schools. In addition, educators spent countless hours spreading the No on 2 message in personal discussions, on social media and in many other ways.
The NEA also made a substantial contribution to the campaign, recognizing the importance to educators across the country of stopping the privatization train in its tracks here in Massachusetts, a state renowned for the quality of our public schools. Our victory in Massachusetts sends a signal across the nation that public education is not for sale and that we can beat back the assault on our schools, colleges and universities.
But it sends a larger message as well — a message I heard again and again as I knocked on doors and talked to voters on the phone: We care about and are proud of our public schools. In this spirit — and building on the energy of the coalition that won this victory — we will work to make sure that every student has access to a high-quality public education, from prekindergarten to graduate school.
Realizing the potential of tonight’s results will take more organizing. It will mean strengthening our locals and our communities and using our strength to put pressure on politicians from the State House to the White House to do what is right for our students, cities and towns. We’ve made incredible progress in 2016. We will continue to build our power in the months and years to come.