Statement by MTA President Catherine A. Boudreau on Romney Inauguration

The Massachusetts Teachers Association congratulates Gov. Mitt Romney on his inauguration to the state's highest office.

During the campaign and in his inaugural address, Romney said that public education is one of his top priorities. Now, the MTA's 97,000 members look forward to working with him and the Legislature to ensure that all of the Commonwealth's students receive the quality education they must have in order to succeed.

As Romney's own lieutenant governor, Kerry Healey, has said, "Education is the best medicine for social problems like poverty (and) criminal behavior."

From kindergarten right through our public colleges and University, education is also the key component of any successful economic development initiative for Massachusetts. We are hopeful that the governor, with his private sector background, recognizes that cutting the level of investment in education would take away the very fuel for a recovery, which is an educated work force.

Providing a quality education is expensive, but depriving our public school students of the resources they need to survive in the modern economy is even more costly in terms of future dollars and lost opportunities.

Educators embrace the obligation of helping students achieve high standards. But the new governor has both a legal obligation and a moral obligation to provide the resources that students require to meet those standards.

Over the next four years, all of us must devote our energies to protecting the gains we have realized in recent years -- and to making sure that our students, from pre-kindergarten to graduate school, do not become long-term casualties of the current state budget crisis.