Good day. This past week was exciting week as we launched our campaign to keep the cap on charter schools at a press conference at the State House. Our coalition will be organizing throughout the state to keep the cap and prevent the further privatization of public schools. Currently charters drain $400 million from our public schools, $121 million from the Boston Public Schools (increasing to $138.5 million in the coming school year). Our group is composed of teachers from both the AFTMA and the MTA, as well as parents, community members and students from across the Commonwealth.
As part of our campaign we are once again asking our members to participate by making phone calls to legislators. This week all active members will receive a RoboCall — we know you hate Robo Calls, and we do too — to all state senators representing the community of the school where you work. When you get the call (either Wednesday or Thursday night around 6:30-ish), just hit “1” and you will be connected to the state senator who represents the legislative district of the school to which you are assigned. We ask that once you’re connected to the senator’s voicemail, you leave a message identifying yourself and your school, and making a statement requesting the senator to keep the cap to prevent more resources from leaving our public schools in favor of charter schools. Please give an example of how the dollars lost from your school’s budget have affected your school.
If you miss the RoboCall you’ll receive a voice mail to contact the State House. Please make a call to one of the Boston State Senators so they hear from you as a Boston teacher. The Senator you call may or may not have your school in his or her district, but your call as a Boston teacher is important. When you call, ask the Senator to keep the cap on charter schools, tell how budget cuts have impacted your classroom and school, and ask him or her to fully fund public schools. Don’t forget to give your name, identify yourself as a Boston teacher, and give the name of the school you work at.
The Boston State Senators with their phone respective numbers are:
- Senator Linda Dorcena-Forry 617-722-1150
- Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz 617-722-1079
- Senator Michael Rush 617-722-1348
- Senator Sal DiDomenico 617-722-1650
- Senator William Brownsberger 617-722-1280
All active members should get a RoboCall. If you do not, please contact Angela Cristiani. Members of the RTC Chapter should have received a different RoboCall two weeks ago; if you didn’t, please contact Angela as well.
Finally, just to get all up to date: There now have been two negotiating sessions with the School Department, each lasting approximately five hours. At the last session, representatives from the nurses, OTs, PTs, Vision, School Psychologists, COSESS and SLPs’ ranks made presentations detailing each’s proposals. This afternoon we meet again and representatives from the Athletic Coaches Association will make their presentation. We thank all representatives for working on their proposals and presenting them in a thoughtful, persuasive manner. Initially, negotiating sessions have been scheduled every other week through the end of the school year.