With English High School students gathered in a packed gym, Governor Charlie Baker signed a bill into law that boosts investment in public schools by $1.5 billion annually over the next seven years.
Baker was joined by numerous elected officials and business leaders, including Mayor Marty Walsh, Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo, Boston School Committee Chairman Michael Loconto, State Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz, City Councilors Matt O'Malley and Annissa Essaibi-George, and more on Nov. 26.
The Student Opportunity Act will particularly provide new funding to school districts with high percentages of low-income students and English Language learners who often live in some of the highest-need communities.
In Mass, we fought for education finance reform to get students the support they deserve. This bill will lift our students up to new heights & I am proud to attend its signing ceremony. Thank you to everyone who advocated for this vital reform. pic.twitter.com/po0JmjnFE1
— Mayor Marty Walsh (@marty_walsh) November 26, 2019
“This is a monumental moment for the future of our Commonwealth. A diverse coalition of families, educators, organizers, and legislators held this bill high for years, never wavering on the path to this day," said Chang-Diaz, D-2nd Suffolk District. "Now, generations of Bay Staters will taste the fruit of their efforts: a public education to create the society we want to live in and support every child as they reach for their dreams.”
— Sonia Chang-Díaz (@SoniaChangDiaz) November 27, 2019
Chang-Diaz added that the bill is heavily based on the Education Promise Act, which she filed and was supported by a large cross-section of educators, politicians, business leaders, and more. That bill intended to implement the Foundation Budget Review Commission (FBRC) recommendations, led by Chang-Díaz, which would address underlying inequities within the state's education funding formulas.
Like the Education Promise Act, the Student Opportunity Act is implementing all five of the FBRC’s recommendations, including the full equity provisions.
Pleased today to sign legislation aimed at providing students across the Commonwealth with the opportunities and resources they need to succeed including accountability measures that are essential to supporting under-performing schools.
— Charlie Baker (@MassGovernor) November 26, 2019
A momentous day @TheEnglishHS with @MassGovernor signing the #StudentOpportunityAct! Thanks to all of our partners in the legislature and the community- parents, teachers and students- you made this possible, now let's make change for our kids! @BostonSchools @BTU66 @BSACbuzz pic.twitter.com/YVUHxww1xG
— Michael Loconto (@mtloconto) November 26, 2019
Proud to join elected officials from all levels of government at the signing of the Student Opportunity Act at @TheEnglishHS. Congratulations to leaders & advocates, particularly JP’s own @SoniaChangDiaz, in passing this historic & effective legislation. #bospoli #mapoli pic.twitter.com/ez2I6pBmmh
— Matt O'Malley (@MattOMalley) November 26, 2019