Thursday, June 13, 2019

Mussotte et al v. Peyser et al press conference liveblog

Learn those names, because here comes the lawsuit.
Live feed coming from the conference on this page.
The front row: the plantiffs
Taking this photo kind of broke my heart. 

Juan Cofield, NAACP
“We felt it necessary given the harm that continues to be done to our children”

Fall River mother Denise DaPonte Mussottee, who has five children
"I totally believe it's funding and the lack of funding"
"there are times that teachers don't have aides...they deal with thirty children by themselves"
"there's not enough novels for people in goes on and on and on"
"all we can ask for is the state to come through with the funding that we need"

Maneisha Straker; two children in the Fall River public schools
children are ten and eight
"if there was more investment in this generation, they'd be able to be more successful in life"
"it's time for us to invest in them"

Iván Espinoza-Madrigal, Executive Director, Lawyers for Civil Rights "we desegrated the Boston Public Schools"
"today's lawsuit is challenging the 21st century version of separate but unequal"
fewer resources, teachers, classes than their predominately white peers
"to recognize that our state legislature has not cherished public education as our Constitution requires"
"willfully blind" to the disparities
children in Fall River and Chelsea are entitled to the same educational opportunities as children in Weston and Wellesley
"our children's resources should come from this house and not Go Fund Me"
"education is a civil right"

Devin Sheehan, president MASC, member of the Holyoke School Committee
famous saying "wait til next year" but "we're not going to wait until next year"
speech by Holyoke superintendent in 1991 outside this building
were committed to a legislative option
"here to fight for the right of children"
in 1991, I was nine year old
"these kids are going to be leading our cities, our states, and our nation"
"obviously too many people aren't listening"
last year the Governor touted the surplus: "we did not have a surplus when we can't pay our debts"

Mayra Balderas, mother, leader in the Chelsea Collaborative
son has special needs; time for his testing for IEPs
33 children in one classroom, many with special needs
"teachers are very overwhelmed because they have to do so much"
"they have to treat the children of everyone equally" but too much
lucky that she speaks English so she can raise her voice
"just ten minutes away from the State House, but the state turns their head away" and chooses to ignore them

Superintendent Matt Malone, Fall River Public Schools
"we're talking about kids"
"failing to fund the education of my kids is messing with my kids; no one ever wants anyone to mess with their kids"
failed to fund the bipartisan FBRC; was Secretary when the Commission was enpaneled
mostly talking about children of color, children who have been caught up in the cycle of poverty
"children who need more"
"this is a civil rights issue about our core values as a country"
New Bedford, Fall River, Worcester at 100% or below foundation; state average is 27%
"it costs more to educate kids who come from poverty than it does kids who come from wealth"
"equity doesn't mean equality"
"enough is enough; the time has come"
"the cornerstone of democracy is a free public education, and this house was built on that"

Danielle Andersen, Orange
she notes that most don't know where it is
was a mill town; "we are an incredibly poor community now"
also on school committee; budget this year was the choice of laying off four teachers or getting rid of all specials
if the override doesn't pass, those four teachers will be laid off AND children will lose the specials
need to know that the schools will be there to support them and help them; the way things are right now, that's not the case

"this is not a local issue; this is a state issue"
"to ignore the systemic issues is not who we want to be"

"I ask that they can help the children, because children need to know that they matter"

to Q about legislation pending
Cofield: "we are not asking for 'something'; we have certain demands that are reflective of what the Constitution requires"
Q about how much, Iván Espinoza-Madrigal:
"what is most important to democratize and modernize the funding formula"
"these are not the needs that are reflective of the school funding formula"

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