The next governor of Massachusetts will have great influence the health and well being of our public schools through choices on funding, privatization, assessment and accountability. He will also influence K-12 policy through appointments to the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.
He will also make appointments to the Supreme Judicial Court. The court's ruling that the state's system of funding schools was unconstitutional forced a major increase in state aid for low-income communities in 1993. A very different court this year kept the "millionaire's tax" off the ballot.
Do you know where the two candidates stand on education? CPS considers it an important part of our mission to educate the public about public education, so we devote this edition of "News You Can Use About Our Schools" to summarizing the two candidates' positions on three aspects of public education.
(Note: CPS does not endorse candidates for public office.)
Public School Funding
- Jay Gonzalez says the state needs new revenue to fix "an education system that is leaving too many of our young people behind." He supported the Fair Share amendment, which would have raised desperately needed revenue for schools and transportation. He proposes a 1.6% tax on the endowments of private, non-profit colleges and universities with endowment funds exceeding $1 billion in order to invest in education and transportation. (Source: jay4ma.com)
- Governor Charlie Baker did not commit to support the Fair Share amendment. His Secretary of Education, James Peyser, said that schools have enough money and opposed the Fair Share Amendment. (Source: WGBH, 4/1/15)
Privatization of Public Education
- Jay Gonzalez opposed the 2016 Question 2, which would have lifted the cap on charter school expansion and diverted billions of dollars each year from district schools to charters. (Source: Itemlive.com, 8/6/18)
- Governor Charlie Baker was a leading proponent of Question 2. His chairman of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, Paul Sagan, was revealed to have contributed $500,000 to the campaign to lift the cap. (Source: Boston Globe, 9/26/17)
Testing, Accountability and Alternatives
- Jay Gonzalez has said he thinks there’s too much standardized testing and it needs to be reined in. He said he wants to “deemphasize the weight” of the high-stakes exam. (Source: Boston Globe, 8/29/18)
- Governor Charlie Baker has not advocated for a reduction in standardized testing. He attributes the Commonwealth’s high ranking on national tests in part to the state’s “high-quality assessments.” He has vetoed funds in the state budget for efforts to develop alternatives through the Massachusetts Consortium for Innovative Education Assessment (MCIEA). MCIEA is developing a system that uses teacher-generated performance assessments in the classroom and a school quality framework using multiple measures. (The legislature overrode Governor Baker's veto.) (Source: Letter from Senator Chang-Diaz, 9/27/18)