STRENGTHENING PUBLIC EDUCATION

At a time when Trump and Betsy DeVos are trying to privatize our schools, we need a proven advocate for public education. I became an advocate because our  system wasn’t set up to help my son and kids like him with special needs succeed. I’m going to continue my work to create public school systems that work for everyone - our kids deserve a great education system that’s truly public, not one that’s separate and unequal.

I’ve helped lead the charge against charter schools and education privatization in Massachusetts, and I’m ready to do it in Congress. Now more than ever, we need representatives in Washington who will stand up to Betsy DeVos and Trump.

I never intended to be a politician. I became an advocate when my oldest son, Rudy, was diagnosed with autism. Our schools weren’t set up to help kids like him succeed, so I did what all moms do: I fought for my child. I strengthened special education at the state and local levels, so that families like mine can send their kids to a quality public school.

I’ve learned personally how important it is to have a public school system that works for every student - so I’ve helped make big improvements in Massachusetts.  It’s why I’ve taken the lead on helping students with dyslexia. Education is the greatest equalizer, but we must intervene early so that all kids learn to read without slipping through the cracks. I’ve also been an advocate for meeting the unique needs of English language learners.

Beyond these efforts, defending public education against the charter school industry has been a defining mission for me as a mom, a legislator, and a former school committee member. Charter schools create a separate and unequal education system. When the dark money-funded charter industry put Question 2 on the ballot in 2016 to lift the cap on charter schools in Massachusetts, I helped organize against them, and I’m proud to say we stopped them from taking more and more money out of our public schools. I even opened up my campaign office in Lawrence so that organizers with the teachers’ unions had a proper space to lead the charge.

As a school committee member, I prevented a charter school from being built in Andover, and in the State House I’ve led on legislation to require the charter schools that do exist in our state to enroll students with disabilities.

Serving on the education committee, I’ve helped secure better funding for funding schools, and blocked attempts to slash it and cut teacher benefits. Nothing’s more critical than investing in our classrooms and paying our educators fairly.  I’ve also pushed measures to close the achievement gap, improve school nutrition, and address bullying. I’m ready to take that legislation down to Congress.

My accomplishments strengthening public education have earned me the endorsement of the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers, the country's largest teachers' unions. I am honored to be the teachers' candidate in this race.

[Photo taken from Andover Townsman site]

I’m ready to carry on my mission in Washington. Now more than ever, we need defenders of public education in Congress. Trump and Betsy DeVos are coming after our schools, and we can’t let it happen. This district overwhelmingly opposed expansion of charter schools, and I’m going to make sure our voices are heard in D.C. - loud and often.

I haven’t taken money from the charters, and I don’t want it. I know how to beat the Trump/DeVos attack on public schools, and you can trust me to fight.

I also want to take my efforts to make the education system work for the most vulnerable to Capitol Hill. We need a national plan to improve public schools for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and I’m going to create one that works.

Some of my priorities in Congress to oppose the Trump/DeVos education privatization agenda and strengthen public education for all:

  • Opposing expansion of charter schools, which siphon money from our public schools and education budgets
  • Opposing voucher programs
  • Fighting for increased teacher pay and benefits, so that we are attracting our best and brightest instead of forcing our educators to go on strike
  • Allowing English language learner students and students with disabilities to learn in a system that allows them to thrive - instead of struggle within a one-size-fits-all program
  • Increasing our education budget
  • Ensuring classroom time is spent on learning, not high-stakes test prep
  • Fighting for common education standards that accurately measure every student’s achievement
  • Ensuring every kid can get a nutritious, affordable lunch at school - because we can’t expect kids to learn on empty stomachs

More questions about where I stand? Click here (info@teambarbara.com) to ask for more info on my positions.

BARBARA IS A MOM ON A MISSION TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE FOR MASSACHUSETTS FAMILIES.

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