Delegates of the Massachusetts Teachers Association have reelected Barbara Madeloni as the union’s president and approved more than $9 million to fight a ballot initiative that would lift the cap on charter schools, the MTA reported in interviews and on its website.
Madeloni, initially elected president in 2014, received 805 votes Saturday in the three-way contest for president, while vice president Janet Anderson received 479, and former vice president Timothy Sullivan received 291, according to the MTA. Madeloni was elected to another two-year term.
The delegates’ decision to dedicate $9.2 million to the Save Our Public Schools campaign to retain the cap on charter schools, “underscored the association’s commitment to fight a procharter initiative headed for the state ballot this November,” the MTA stated. “The measure could lead to the loss of billions of dollars in public school funding to charters.”
The MTA represents more than 110,000 members across Massachusetts. The union’s 1,647 registered delegates met for two days at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston, according to the MTA.
Madeloni said Sunday in a phone interview that the money approved for the ballot contest will contribute to building a wide-ranging grass-roots campaign.
“This is going to be the definition of a grass-roots movement,” she said. The union intends to “use our power to reclaim public education from corporate interests.”
Marc Kenen, executive director of the Massachusetts Charter Public School Association, said in response to the MTA meeting: “We regret that the MTA spent its weekend scheming about how to deny high-quality public school options for all children in the Commonwealth.”
A recent Boston Globe poll suggested Massachusetts voters lean toward lifting the cap on the number of charter schools in the state.
Fifty percent of likely voters said they would support a November ballot question to lift the cap. Thirty-three percent were opposed, and 16 percent undecided. The live land-line and cellphone poll of 500 likely voters was conducted May 2-5 and had a margin of error of 4.4 percentage points.