Massachusetts Teachers Association airs TV ad
The Massachusetts Teachers Association is airing a 30-second television ad that highlights the importance of providing children with a well-rounded education. The spot, which features Massachusetts public school students, began airing this morning in the Boston and Springfield television markets and on cable stations throughout the state. The children tell the citizens of the Commonwealth that everyone's help is needed to ensure that students succeed. "We need the state to invest in the future of our schools," one student states. The underlying theme of the ad, entitled "Declaration," is that the citizens of Massachusetts must declare their commitment to providing the resources needed to fulfill the promise of education for all students.
"Our ad highlights the need for a sharing of responsibility to make certain that public schools have the resources to provide a high-quality education to every child," said MTA President Catherine A. Boudreau. "It is vital that we have the active participation of parents, communities, the governor, and the Legislature. One top priority is for the state to do its share in ensuring smaller class sizes and the availability of first-rate programs that help students learn not only the so-called ‘three Rs,' but science, history, foreign languages, art, and music.
We, the children of Massachusetts, in order to create a more perfect education, need your help.
We need smaller classes and a well-rounded education, including music, sports, and art, to teach us to express ourselves.
And so our refrigerator doors are always decorated.
But most of all, we need everyone's support.
We need the state to invest in the future of our schools.
A message from the children of Massachusetts.
And the Massachusetts Teachers Association.
As our ad indicates, a well-rounded education should be a fundamental right for every child in the Commonwealth," Boudreau continued.
"Students need and deserve great public schools – schools that have well-staffed libraries, nurses, teaching assistants, physical education programs, up-to-date textbooks, and adequate technology."
Boudreau noted that educators throughout the Commonwealth are doing their part. Massachusetts students rank first on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, score highly on the SATs, and excel by many other measures.
"Now," she said, "the time has arrived for the state to do its share – both for the public schools and for public higher education. Prompt action to provide resources is vital."
The MTA is calling on legislators and the governor to boost resources for public education at all levels. The association is supporting the "Funding Schools for Student Success" bill that was introduced last week and has more than 30 co-sponsors. It is also seeking increased funding for public higher education to address the unmet needs of the Commonwealth's community colleges, state colleges, and University.
"Our students deserve funding measures that are far superior to the ones in the budget supported by the administration of Governor Mitt Romney and Lieutenant Governor Kerry Healey," Boudreau said. "The Romney-Healey budget does not go nearly far enough in providing resources for students in our schools, colleges and University. Unfortunately, the rhetoric and the reality remain far apart where the administration's stand on public education is concerned."
The lack of resources at all levels should come as no surprise, given state budgets in recent years. When enrollment changes and inflation are taken into account, Chapter 70 education aid to municipalities and regional school districts is almost $470 million lower than it was in FY02, and more than 90 percent of the state's operating districts have yet to re-attain their FY02 aid levels.
Meanwhile, from fiscal year 2001 through fiscal year 2006, funding for public higher education declined by $333 million – or 26 percent – after taking inflation into account.
In addition to the television ad, the MTA is airing a 60-second radio spot. It is running on stations in Greater Boston, Brockton, Fall River, New Bedford, Pittsfield, Springfield and Worcester, and on Cape Cod. In the coming weeks, the campaign will grow to include a higher education radio ad, a radio ad focusing on education support professionals, and a Spanish-language radio spot. The "Declaration" ad campaign was produced by SS+K, an advertising and marketing firm with offices in Boston and other cities.
The Massachusetts Teachers Association represents more than 100,000 public education employees, including teachers, education support professionals, higher education faculty and staff, and future teachers.