Saturday, March 28, 2015

NBEA supports Holyoke Public Schools


WHEREAS, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s strategy of appointing unelected receivers to run public schools and districts in low‐income communities is drastic, disruptive and undemocratic; and 

WHEREAS, receiverships are a form of privatization that is a growing threat to public education throughout the Commonwealth; and 

WHEREAS, Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester has announced that he intends to ask the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to vote on placing the Holyoke Public Schools in receivership even before the department has sought appropriate input from the community; and

WHEREAS, many educators, students, parents, elected officials and other community residents have made it clear that they oppose the receivership and want to shape and promote the schools that Holyoke’s students deserve; and

WHEREAS, these same constituencies value having local, democratic control of the schools that educate their children; and

WHEREAS, Holyoke is in the process of implementing changes that have not yet had an opportunity to realize their promise; and

WHEREAS, state intervention in Holyoke in the past has failed to meet the needs of the students or the community; and

WHEREAS, state financial support for public education in Holyoke is inadequate to meet the needs of Holyoke’s student population,

THEREFORE, we urge the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to reject the commissioner’s recommendation to designate Holyoke as a Level 5 district and place it in receivership; and

We urge the BESE to listen to the parents, educators, students and other members of the community to learn about their vision for their public schools; and

We urge the BESE to join us in advocating for a sufficient allocation of state and federal resources so that children in low‐income districts such as Holyoke have the same opportunity to learn as students in more affluent communities. 


New Bedford Educators Association Board of Directors

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