CPS Legislative Priorities and Updates

Your Voice Matters! 

Thanks to all who called and wrote your representatives to support school funding and recess

Citizens for Public Schools and the Massachusetts Education Justice Alliance supported amendments to the House budget to implement the recommendations of the Foundation Budget Review Commission (i.e., increase funding for our public schools!), increase funding for our public colleges and universities, and mandate recess as part of the school day in our elementary schools.  Thanks to all of you who made calls and wrote letters urging support! 

Your calls and letters built significant support in the House, but unfortunately the amendments did not go through. The Senate takes up the budget next. Stay tuned for information on what you can do in the coming weeks and months. 

Amendment #246 to be filed by Rep. Sean Garballey (D-Arlington) – Implements the Recommendations of the FBRC (To Increase Funding to Our Public Schools): This amendment would add the funding and language needed to establish an annual schedule-setting process to implement all five recommendations of the FBRC: the English learner increment; low-income increment; healthcare costs; special education enrollment and costs; and the school-level data advisory commission. 

Amendment #156 filed by Rep. Natalie Higgins (D-Leominster) – Increases Funding for the State’s Higher Education Institutions: This amendment would add much needed funds to Massachusetts public higher education campuses at funding levels requested by public higher education systems.

Amendment #1343 to be filed by Rep. Marjorie Decker (D-Cambridge) – Mandates Recess as Part of the School Day in Grades K-5: This amendment would mandate at least 20 minutes of unstructured recess per school day for students in grades K-5 as part of a school’s structured learning time.


Citizens for Public Schools has supported a number of bills filed for the 2017-18 Massachusetts legislative session that address school funding, high-stakes testing, accountability, privatization and other issues. Click here to read summaries of the bills we support and oppose, and see below for summaries of hearings for these bills. As a founding member of the Massachusetts Education Justice Alliance, we also support MEJA’s legislative agenda, including S. 2325 (formerly S.223) to modernize the Massachusetts Foundation Budget Formula and the Fair Share Amendment to fully and equitably fund our public schools. Click here to learn more. 

Click here to read a summary of the Sept 5 Hearing at the Massachusetts Legislature on a series of bills related to Innovation Partnership Zones.

Click here to read a summary of the Sept 12 Hearing at the Massachusetts Legislature on a series of bills related to reducing high-stakes standardized testing.

Click here to read a summary of the Sept 19 Hearing at the Massachusetts Legislature on a series of bills related to raising the Massachusetts minimum wage to $15. 

Click Here to read a summary of the Oct 3 Hearing at the Massachusetts Legislature on a series of bills related to keeping Charter Schools accountable to local communities.