On Question 2 the Voters Have Spoken. Is Beacon Hill Getting the Message?

I know that most of us here in Massachusetts are still reeling from the results of the Presidential election, but I feel compelled to share some thoughts on the outcome of the vote to raise the cap on charter schools.

On one hand I am delighted by the result of the vote. The voters of Massachusetts have spoken and they absolutely oppose any attempt to expand charters at the expense of traditional school districts. But on the other hand, I am utterly outraged at what the corporate education reformers have put our kids, our teachers and our school districts through over the last ten years given how little electoral support we now know that these champions of privatization have across the state.

Clear Message to MA Legislature

Consider this: Question 2 only passed in 16 out of 351 communities in the Commonwealth.

  • Seven of these communities are located in one single state rep’s district on Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket.
  • The other nine are spread across six other state rep districts.
  • And the only other district where a majority of voters voted 'yes' is in Education Committee Chair Alice Peisch's district in Metro West.

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(click here for larger image; click here for original image source at WBur/Edify)

This means that the 'yes' side only carried two of the 160 state rep districts in the Massachusetts House of Representatives. It was even defeated by a 2 to 1 margin in Speaker DeLeo's district of Winthrop/Revere.

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Dark Money and the Charter Campaign

Want a Halloween fright? Peel back the curtain and look at the dark money behind Question 2.


 

If you want to know who is funding all those commercials for lifting the cap on charter schools in Massachusetts, you’ll need a good pair of binoculars.

Just like grainy, horror-movie TV campaigns ads, the commercials you’re seeing in favor of lifting the cap are made by PACS and superPACS, organizations whose names often suggest the exact opposite of the position they support.

This is the proverbial dark money: Individual investors give money to organizations that don’t have to disclose donors’ names, but use the money to fund ads for candidates and causes under the organizations’ names.

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189th Senate Scorecard - 2015-2016

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Every two years, you elect your State Senator. But what happens after that? Where do they stand on the issues of the day on Beacon Hill? How do they vote on the bills that come before the House of Representatives during the two-year legislative session?

Every year, Progressive Massachusetts puts together a scorecard of Legislators' votes, zeroing in on those roll call votes that often can show the distinction between a progressive legislator, and everyone else.

With the Progressive Mass scorecard, you can see how your State Senator votes, helping the public understand where he or she stands on specific policies, and giving you the information to better advocate for the issues that you care about, and even influence your vote in election years.

The Senate Scorecard for the first year of the 2015-2016 legislative session is below (looking for the House Scorecard? It's here).

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