Episode 42: Lowell Goes to Fund Our Future Day of Action
In 1993, Massachusetts passed landmark legislation, the Education Reform Act, which was intended to equalize access to education for children living in every community in Massachusetts. As we’ve explained in several podcast episodes, the funding formulas resulting from this 1993 legislation have not been updated and some of the formulas are based in 1993 economic factors. As you can imagine, funding based upon 1993 economic factors can only mean that in 2019, our public education system is severely underfunded.
We know from first-hand experience here in Lowell that Public school budgets are at the breaking point. It’s not just in Lowell, school underfunding is a problem everywhere. Underfunded schools means our most vulnerable students are missing out on some of the educational opportunities peers in more affluent communities access, it can mean that essential programs and services - social workers, behavioral specialists, and a full-time nurse in every school are no longer “givens”.
The Fund Our Future coalition is a broadly representative group of advocates working together to ensure that this year our Legislators act on updating AND FUNDING public education across Massachusetts. Everyone recognizes the need and the urgency.
There is nothing more urgent than ensuring that our youngest citizens are equipped with the PUBLIC education they deserve. Achieving that will take all of us working as a “common wealth”. It will take all of us ordinary citizens speaking up. Our parents, our educators, our STUDENTS across Massachusetts know this is our moment in time to insist that the Foundation budget be re-calculated to provide our all students, no matter where they live and no matter what challenges they are facing, with a 21st century education.
During the Day of Action and the Rallies on May 16, we learned how an equitable education for all of our students is attainable if we all work together. We also heard from Higher Education students who attend our Commonwealth’s public colleges and universities. Without the Promise Act, skyrocketing costs for higher education in our state universities and colleges is leaving some of our talented students out or saddling them with education debts of $30,000 or more.
We say: Enough!
We need you - all of you - to help with the next steps toward fully funding our schools in a fair and equitable way.
If you can attend and participate in Lowell Education Justice Alliance, you will be welcomed and your participation appreciated. This local grassroots group is committed to PUBLIC EDUCATION and meets regularly.
We have an uphill battle ahead of us. We hear from some in the Legislature, that the funds that are needed to fix the Foundation Budget and correct the underfunding is not there. We need you - ALL OF. YOU - to commit to contacting your local State Representatives either by mail, email, or telephone before the school year ends.
Speak your truth about the impact of underfunding on your family and on your students. If your Representative and State Senator have already signed on to co-sponsor The Promise Act (S.238/H.586) and the Cherish Act (S.741/H.1214), THANK THEM. Help them to stand firm by signaling what a difference Funding our Future can make. Keep up-to-date with the efforts to Fund Our Future by visiting this website frequently.
For your convenience, we are linking to the Massachusetts’ Legislature’s website where you can look up who represents you in the Massachusetts House and Massachusetts Senate. Contact information for the Lowell Statehouse Delegation are:
Thank you to everyone who was able to attend the May 16th Day of Action and Rally. We also thank our listeners and especially to UTL members for tuning in to this Episode. We welcome your general comments and feedback. If you have suggestions for future podcasts or if you are aware of a UTL member who might be willing to share expertise and experiences, please email us at
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