Welcome to the home to United Teachers of Lowell's Straight Talk podcast. Each Wednesday we'll post a new interview with useful news and information for our members. We hope you'll come back each week to learn what's new! 

Episode 40: Let's Rally to Fund Our Future on May 16!

Episode 40: Let's Rally to Fund Our Future on May 16!

As the Lowell School Committee begins budget deliberations, we are hearing about a second year of very painful cuts to services our students need and deserve. Lowell’s schools are grossly underfunded; in fact Mass Budget and Policy Center estimates that Lowell is short $42 million in State Education Funding every year. 

If you have been following the Funding issue or attended one of the two Foundation Budget Forums held in the City, you know that this is a “perfect storm” that is precipitated. by the use of 25-plus-year-old Foundation Budget calculation formulas, at least 20 years of underfunded State aide, and inertia of the Massachusetts House of Representatives to pass the Foundation Budget Reforms. This is a disservice to our public education system and is not only unacceptable, it is hurting a generation of public school students.

The Fund Our Future coalition which is comprised of many advocacy groups including our American Federation of Teachers Massachusetts, is  taking these issues on now. One of the ways Fund Our Future is planning to hammer home the message to our Legislative representatives that our students and our public schools can’t wait any longer is by holding a state-wide rally on May 16.

We are speaking today with AFTMA President Beth Kontos and UTL’s Director of Operations Mickie Dumont about the May 16th Rally. Listen in as Beth and Mickie share some of the ways YOU are needed to help bring adequate and fair funding to all of our public schools.


UTL495 Members please be sure to touch base with your Building Representatives for late-breaking details on bus transportation to the May 16, 2019 Rally. You can also check the UTL’s Facebook page for news.

The Fund Our Future Rally is a collaboration among many stakeholders - people just like you who are interested in ensuring our students have equitable education opportunities no matter the ZIP Code in which they live. Check the website often for events.

Thanks to both AFT-MA President Beth Kontos and Mickie Dumont, UTL495’s Director of Operations, for sitting down to talk with us during the United Teachers of Lowell’s Retiree Spring Luncheon. The Fund Our Future state-wide rally is an important action we all can take to ensure school funding is fair and adequate for all students across the Commonwealth. We all feel the dismay and sometimes even the anger that happens when libraries are closed, or academic and emotional supports for our students disappear. The loss of funding for our PUBLIC SCHOOLS is having such a detrimental impact on Lowell’s schools and students. 

Our message to fix the Foundation formulas and to fund our schools adequately won’t be heard unless we get vocal. May 16, 2019  is our moment to stand up for our students by participating in the Rally on Boston Common. Will you be there to stand up for what our schools and our students deserve?  Bring your children, take the bus, take the train. Let’s all show up for PUBLIC SCHOOLS.

 Thank you to 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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Episode 41: Spotlight on the Cast & Crew of Shrek the Musical

Episode 41: Spotlight on the Cast & Crew of Shrek the Musical

Episode 39: Farrell-Grady Scholarship FAQ

Episode 39: Farrell-Grady Scholarship FAQ