Massachusetts Parents United Statement on the "Student Opportunity Act" and Broken Promises to Families
"There is a big difference between $1.5 billion on programs that help kids failed by the system, and $1.5 billion into the system that has been failing kids.
Unfortunately last night the Senate disrupted the delicate balance that brought everyone in the education community together around funding, innovation and accountability. We fully expect the House of Representatives to restore the language that was recommended by the Joint Committee on Education so we all can move forward focused on what is best for the children of the Commonwealth.
Thousands of parents from across Massachusetts whose children are directly impacted by the achievement and opportunity gap took time away from their busy lives to make trips to meet with and testify before the Joint Committee on Education because we believed we would be heard and our voice and presence would make a difference. We provided more than simple stories about the impact these injustices have on our families, but to offer solutions. And we did.
We must hold our elected officials accountable for running a generationally, institutionally racist education system, and believe the proposed changes to the state’s school funding formula are a big step forward in addressing deep societal inequities. But as we have always said -- simply throwing money at the problem is not enough.
Our ask was simple: An acknowledgement that the chronic under serving of our children is an education crisis in several communities and a willingness to confront these issues head on by asking each to create a three year plan to address it with oversight by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Sunlight, transparency, independence.
Asking the same people who have created these deep inequities -- and allowed them to persist over generations -- to suddenly have the expertise to overcome them without assistance, oversight and accountability for outcomes is just ridiculous. And the idea that families and taxpayers across the Commonwealth support throwing $1.5 billion at a clearly broken system without a plan is equally so."
Massachusetts Parents United