Urban parents turned out in the rain Tuesday to demand improvements in the quality of public education, not just an increase in state aid to schools.
The Legislature and Gov. Charlie Baker this year appear poised to commit to a multi-year effort to boost education funding, but there’s less certainty about education reforms that might go with the extra dollars to ensure that schools are meeting standards and held accountable for academic performance.
“So many of us have been through the public school system and we know what it’s like to be underserved and we’re here to say enough is enough,” said Keri Rodrigues, founding president and mom-in-chief of Massachusetts Parents United (MPU), leading a large group of parents, including many immigrants, at the rally outside the State House. “Yes, we need more money for education, but we need it to be spent better.”
A growing advocacy group, MPU says it has more than 7,000 active members and represents urban parents, with chapters in Boston, Lawrence, Lowell, Springfield, Holyoke, Lynn, Salem and New Bedford. The group’s members are focused on issues like teacher quality and diversity, holding local officials accountable for the ways education dollars are spent, and ensuring that schools have modern technology and buildings.