Political Action

Democracy is an important part of our union. We take action in union, local and federal elections and encourage our members to get involved.

We are excited to announce that the BTU has created an Electoral Action Team (BEAT) to organize and take action in the upcoming elections. You can register to volunteer using this form. Volunteers will receive training and support from our Political and Organizing teams as well as our community partners. Democracy is on the ballot this year and everyone needs to do their part! Some of the actions you can take part in are:  holding signs at stand outs, door knocking, phone banking, calling and writing  local law-makers to ask for their support in getting bills passed, volunteering to motivate members of the community to register, talking to colleagues, community organizations, your own civic organizations, and, ultimately, Getting Out the Vote!

Boston Teachers Union Endorsed Candidates


  • District 2 – Ed Flynn
  • District 4 – Brian Worrell
  • District 5 – Enrique Pepen
  • District 6 – Ben Weber
  • District 7 – Tania Fernandes Anderson
  • District 8 – Sharon Durkan
  • District 9 – Liz Breadon


  • Ruthzee Louijeune
  • Julia Mejia
  • Henry Santana
  • No Special election endorsements at this time

Legislative Priorities

Our City, Our Schools!

In 2022, the BTU and our community allies successfully defended BPS from being placed in state receivership. We remain strongly opposed to receivership and other forms of state takeovers, in Boston and anywhere else. Research shows that takeovers disproportionately impact majority Black and Latinx districts and punish educators for working in districts with disadvantaged populations. Like any school district in the state, Boston has room for improvement, but top-down, punitive, and ineffective state interventions that wrest control from parents and local communities are not the answer.
This year we have filed the Thrive Act (SB246, Senators Liz Miranda, Adam Gomez and Joan Comerford; HB495, State Representatives Samantha Montaño and Jim Hawkins) in order to ensure democratic control remains in Boston and in every other district. This bill would:
  • End receivership and return the UP Holland and Dever schools to Boston Public Schools.
  • Take away the state’s power to impose receivership on any district.
  • DESE would still identify schools in need of comprehensive support and improvement (CSI). However, they would now receive support from a local stakeholder group with real authority to develop support and improvement plan, with targeted additional funding and no effect on labor rights.
  • Eliminate MCAS as a graduation requirement, replacing the competency requirement with curriculum requirements established by each district.
  • Create a commission to develop a new vision and framework for assessments and support.
  • TAKE ACTION: https://actionnetwork.org/letters/help-pass-the-thrive-act

Secure and Dignified Retirement

Educators play a crucial role in shaping the minds of the next generation, and as such, they deserve to be able to retire with dignity after years of dedicated service. Unfortunately, as cost of living continues to increase, especially in the last year, cost of living increases to pensions have not kept up. Access to a dignified retirement allows educators to enjoy their later years without worrying about financial insecurity, and also provides them with the means to continue contributing to their communities in meaningful ways without having to worry about their basic needs. Furthermore, providing educators with access to a dignified retirement can help attract and retain top talent in the field of education, which is essential for the long-term success and well-being of our society. Our priorities include:

Fund Our Schools!

With the passing of the Fair Share Amendment, we have successfully set up a funding mechanism for education at all levels. The BTU is committed to the timeline laid out in the Student Opportunity Act of 2019 and will continue to advocate for all components to be fully-funded as soon as possible through the state budget process.
Beyond that, we are committed to overhauling funding for our public higher education system so that it is accessible and affordable to all families in Boston and across the Commonwealth CHERISH Act (HB1260, State Representatives Sean Garballey and Patricia Duffy; SB816, Senator Joan Comerford). This will not only ensure that our students are able to have successful careers, but that we can continue to meet the demand for critical professions such as educators, social workers, and counselors.
Lastly, many of our members and community allies have felt the increasing cost of childcare deeply. For that reason, we are advocating for increased funding to childcare and early education programs. This will help reduce racial gaps in early education, which are magnified as children enter and navigate our K-12 system. Research shows that investments in early education have a very high rate of return in the form of benefits to children in the long term (Common Start Bill: HB 489, State Representatives Adrian Madaro and Kenneth Gordon; SB301, Senators Jason Lewis and Susan Moran) An Act providing affordable and accessible high quality early education and care to promote child development and well-being and support the economy in the Commonwealth.

Solving the Educator Shortage and Supporting Educators of Color

Educator Diversity Bill (HB549, State Representative Alice Peisch; SB311, Senator Jason Lewis)
  • Diversity: Boston Public Schools is one of the most diverse districts in Massachusetts, both in our student body and our faculty ranks. In fact, over a third of Black educators in Massachusetts teach in BPS! However, there still remains a huge gap between the population of students of color, who make up the vast majority of students in Boston and other urban districts, and educators of color, who are a minority even in Boston. We know that educator diversity is crucial for both students of color and white students. A report from the Learning Policy Institute outlines the benefits to students of color, whose academic performance is boosted when taught by educators of color. White students also benefit from educators of color because they are exposed to different perspectives and further learn how to navigate an increasingly diverse society. BTU is committed to expanding the educator pipeline so we can address the existing educator shortage, and particularly to continuing to diversify the education profession.
  • Licensure: Our state licensure system remains woefully inadequate to support the needs of our students and the realities of the education profession. The MTELs present an unnecessarily high barrier due to the financial burden it imposes on educators, and prevent otherwise-qualified educators from becoming educators. There are also racial gaps in pass rates, and educators of color are less likely to retake the test, further harming educator diversity.

Safe, Clean, Healthy Buildings

HB441, State Representative Daniel Cahill; SB251, Senator Brendan Crighton; An Act modernizing school construction
From leaky ceilings to a lack of air conditioning, lackluster bathrooms, old boilers, and windows in need of retrofitting, most of our buildings are not meeting students’ most basic needs. We have had members in classrooms where lead paint falls on them and their students. Our buildings are in disrepair, and so BTU fully supports the Green New Deal for BPS initiative. This is “our shared commitment to expanding access to safe, healthy, energy-efficient, and inspiring learning spaces, with state-of-the-art classrooms, cafeterias, auditoriums, and athletic, outdoor, meeting, and support spaces.” We are committed to being allies to BPS as they engage community stakeholders, renovate and develop new school buildings, and create the spaces that our students and educators deserve.

Antiracist Curriculum

SB288, Senator Adam Gomez; HB542, Tram Nguyen; An Act to promote racially inclusive curriculum in schools
Ethnic Studies pilots have been implemented successfully in districts like Boston and Holyoke, thanks to the work of groups such as the BTU’s Ethnic Studies Now Committee. Over seven years, Holyoke’s program has grown to be a grades 7-11 program with dual enrollment options through UMass Amherst; in Boston, we hired our first Ethnic Studies Coordinator in 2021. However, Ethnic Studies educators are also wary of state mandates around this curriculum, which could be detrimental to doing it well.
This type of curriculum has shown to be highly effective in engaging students of color in particular, especially those who are at highest risk of dropping out. Stanford researchers found that students who went through an Ethnic Studies program made gains in attendance and grades, and also increased the number of course credits they earned to graduate. We believe that expanding opportunities for this type of curriculum will allow us to empower students within their communities so they can do better in school, graduate, and become effective citizens and leaders within their communities.

COPE (Committee on Political Education)

The BTU COPE Committee on Political Education is the program that supports the Union’s political action. The COPE committee members are appointed by the BTU President for a two year term. The BTU uses COPE to endorse candidates in local elections.

  • Maritza Agrait (Retired)
  • Paul Christian (John D. O’Bryant School of Mathematics)
  • Marjie Crosby (Retired)
  • Betsy Drinan (Retired)
  • Tom Gosnell (Retired and Treasurer)
  • Jerina Harris (David Ellis Elementary)
  • Ross Kochman (Henderson Inclusion)
  • Samantha Laney (Holmes Innovation)
  • Vanessa LaRoque (Madison Park High)
  • Sylvaine Lestrade (Trotter Elementary)
  • Keisha Lewis (Fenway High)
  • Johnny McInnis (Political Director and Chair)
  • Veronica Navarro (Blackstone Elementary)
  • Eduardo Rojas (Retired)
  • Lea Serena (BTU Elementary Field Rep)
  • Jeremy Shenk (AFTMA)
  • Zoe Summit (Boston Leadership Academy)

We are looking for members who are politically active to advocate for our union. Are you interested in door knocking, phone banking and getting out the vote for our endorsed candidates? Interested in testifying for or against legislation for our schools? Interested in writing an op-ed about an educational issue? Contact BTU Political Director Johnny McInnis to get involved in BTU political action!