Press Release

AFT Leaders on Massachusetts’ Ballot Question 2 on Charter School Expansion

For Release: 

Tuesday, November 8, 2016


Evan Sutton
Cell: 206-851-0178

WASHINGTON—Statement of American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten and affiliate leaders on the defeat of the Massachusetts charter expansion ballot measure, Question 2:

 AFT President Randi Weingarten:

“Tonight, voters in Massachusetts sent a clear message to Gov. Charlie Baker and other backers of Question 2: Don’t use charters as a weapon against public schools—especially when Massachusetts public schools rank among the best in the nation. Grass-roots efforts by parents, educators, community groups and students succeeded in safeguarding the promise of public education as a public good, rejecting ideologues and others who sought to divert and drain resources from public education.
“Bay State citizens were joined by leaders across the state—including U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, Worcester Mayor Joseph Petty and other mayors throughout the commonwealth. Those public officials understood what we understand: that public schools create opportunity for Massachusetts children. Taking resources away from public schools robs their students of opportunities to achieve their aspirations.
“We hope Gov. Baker takes this outcome as a chance to plot a new course. Every Bay State child should have the opportunity to get a high-quality public education, so we look forward to working with the governor, teachers, parents and students to improve public schools through proven, evidence-based approaches: creating community schools, including restorative justice practices in curriculum, promoting career and technical education programs, and supporting—not demonizing—educators.”

AFT Massachusetts President Tom Gosnell:

“By defeating Question 2, Massachusetts voters have said that we support public education and students in the public schools. Congratulations to the Massachusetts voters.”
Boston Teachers Union President Richard Stutman:

“The defeat of Question 2 is a victory for those of us who believe in equal and open access to all our public schools. Our public schools do not discriminate, and we welcome all children regardless of their individual needs. Our public schools perform well, and will continue to thrive and improve with the vote of confidence our citizens have given us.”

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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.