From Marc McGovern, May 7, 2017: Thousands of Massachusetts parents, educators and students will rally May 20 on the Boston Common to support public education. Together we will be standing up for our public schools, which are under attack by the Trump regime, including Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos – possibly the most unqualified appointee in history.
Even here in Massachusetts, regularly rated as having the top public schools in the United States, we see consistent efforts to move Massachusetts toward privatization. Whether it’s a culture of testing funded by for-profit companies or the influx of out-of-state money to support charter schools, Massachusetts public schools are also under attack. But it’s not just out-of-state influences that are affecting our public schools. The nonpartisan Foundation Budget Review Commission found Massachusetts public schools are underfunded by about $1 billion a year. We need Gov. Charlie Baker to step up and do the right thing.
Massachusetts should be funding affordable, high-quality early childhood education. So much time is spent thinking about how our schools can close the achievement gap when, in reality, the gap starts before children enter the school system. We need to strengthen our community college system to bring it up to par with those in other states and move toward debt-free higher education. We need equitable funding in our public schools so students in lower-income communities have the same opportunities as those in wealthier cities and towns.
On May 20, I will be joining others who care deeply about public education. The Rally for Public Education is about coming together and building a movement in our state to invest in and work for the future or education that all children, regardless of ZIP code, deserve. I hope to see many other Cantabrigians there as well.
Marc McGovern is vice mayor of Cambridge.