FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

July 21, 2016

Progressive Business Organization Endorses “Yes on 2” Ballot Campaign to Lift Cap on Massachusetts Public Charter Schools

BOSTON, MA – Today, the organizers of a ballot question that would provide fair access to public charter schools to the Commonwealth’s families, announced the support of the Alliance for Business Leadership, a non-partisan coalition of progressive CEOs, entrepreneurs, investors, and business leaders advocating for social responsibility.

“If our organization has one driving principle it is that everyone in Massachusetts must have access to growth and opportunity. Nothing will do more to ensure that we honor that commitment than providing every child in our state with a high quality public education, no matter where he or she attends school,” said Jeff Bussgang, Alliance Chair and General Partner at Flybridge Capital Partners. “Lifting the cap on public charters is a social justice issue. Massachusetts may have one of the best public school systems in the nation, but for too long the achievement gap has prevented our kids from reaching their true potential. That’s unacceptable and progressive business leaders must help do something about it.”

Formed in 2007, the Alliance for Business Leadership is a non-partisan alliance of progressive business leaders that creates sustainable growth and opportunity for everyone in Massachusetts. It has lent its voice to a wide range of progressive social and economic issues including early childhood education, public transportation and paid family leave. Most recently it supported equal pay legislation in Massachusetts.

“At a time when 33,000 kids are stuck on public charter school waiting lists we’re excited to have the support of a respected, progressive business group like the Alliance for Business Leadership,” said Eileen O’Connor of Great Schools Massachusetts. “As we spread the word about the longer school days, more individual attention, and great teaching at Massachusetts’ public charter schools, the Alliance’s experience bringing progressive business leaders together with policymakers and thought leaders will be essential.”

Passing Question 2 in November would enable the state Board of Education to approve a modest increase in new charter schools or expansions per year, with preference given to schools in the lowest 25% performing districts, where public charter schools are in high demand from parents. New public charter schools would continue to be subject to the rigorous approval and accountability processes that have made Massachusetts’ home to the nation’s best public charter schools.

Great Schools Massachusetts is a statewide coalition of parents, community groups, public charter schools, education advocates and members of the business community committed to providing families with equal access to public charter schools. Nearly 33,000 children in Massachusetts remain stuck on public charter school waiting lists due to arbitrary enrollment caps, particularly in urban districts where traditional public schools are underperforming. Great Schools Massachusetts is committed to providing families with equal access to public charter schools.

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Eileen O’Connor | [email protected] | 617-806-6999