SPRINGFIELD, Mass (WWLP) – The school day began a bit earlier on Thursday as students, parents, teachers, administrators and paraprofessionals lined the busy street outside Sumner Avenue.
Ipsita Lizardi, a parent of 11 and 12 year old’s, is passionate about high quality public education. “I was educated around the world and I chose public schools in Springfield because I met the teachers and they are incredibly dedicated, and if there’s going to be any expansion of funding for education, it should be for the teachers.”
Question 2 on this year’s ballot asks if you would authorize the state to open 12 new charter schools or expand enrollment at existing ones each year.
“No on 2. No on 2.” The Springfield teachers union is particularly against expanding charter schools.
Tim Collins, President of the Springfield Education Association, told 22News, “A Yes on 2, people say it brings more money. It doesn’t bring any additional money to any public school in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The budget is set.”
“Question 2 is a Massachusetts ballot question, but these people are part of a nationwide protest.” More than 100,000 people in over 200 cities across the country held similar walk-ins to support public schools.
Charter schools are publicly funded as well, but they’re operated independent of a school district. “In Massachusetts, the funding follows the student, but this is also a very limited amount of students and it really only impacts urban, low-performing districts.”
Both sides of the ballot hope to improve students’ education, but through different means.