Lawrence, MA – On Thursday, Representative Frank Moran of Lawrence was joined by a coalition of parents, educators and community leaders from Lawrence, Lowell and surrounding Merrimack Valley communities to kickoff the “Yes on 2” ballot campaign in the region .
Rep. Moran and members of the Great Schools Massachusetts coalition urged residents to vote “Yes on 2”, to give families, particularly those stuck in underperforming school districts, fair access to Massachusetts’ best-in-the-nation public charter schools.
“Passing Question 2 will give parents in Lawrence the right to choose the best public school for their children and will bring more funding to public schools in our community,” said Rep. Moran. “Lawrence families deserve to have access to the added classroom time and more personal attention that public charter schools provide to families.”
The “Yes on 2” campaign is organizing volunteers for a major grassroots push in Lawrence and Lowell.
“Kids in our community should have the same access to great public schools as every other child in the state,” said Chhorvivoinn Sumsethi, a parent activist from Lowell. “That’s why we’re organizing parents and urging all Lowell residents to vote Yes on 2.”
Yes on 2 Campaign website: www.yeson2ma.com
Massachusetts is home to the best public charter schools in the nation, with a proven, 20-year track record of closing the achievement gap in underperforming school districts. But today, almost 33,000 children—including more than 1,000 in Lawrence and more than 400 in Lowell—are stuck on waiting lists to attend public charter schools in Massachusetts because of an arbitrary and outdated cap on enrollment.
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 school districts in the lowest 25% performing districts, where public charter schools are in high demand from parents. New public charter schools would continue to be subjected to the rigorous approval and accountability processes that have made Massachusetts home to the nation’s best public charter schools.
Public polling on the question has consistently found that voters favor expanding access to public charter schools because they provide high-quality options to parents, especially those that live in communities where the district schools are underperforming. A Boston Globe poll published in May found that voters support the question 56%-32%, with 12% undecided.
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.
Eileen O’Connor | eileen@keyserpublicstrategies.