Save Our Public Schools Campaign / Week of Action


The Save Our Public Schools campaign to keep the cap on charter schools is heating up. The delegates to MTA’s Annual Meeting voted on May 14 to fully fund our share of the campaign expenses. We are committed to winning this issue on the ballot in November.

SOPS organizers have been hired and will be working with MTA members and staff, as well as with other members of the coalition, to organize against lifting the cap. These local efforts will be supplemented by a full-blown campaign that involves advertising. But we need to win this on the ground in our communities, not just on the air.

To build momentum as we head into June, the campaign is planning a Week of Action from June 6-10. Please join us in encouraging members to participate in as many of the below-listed actions as they can. And please post images from the Week of Action – and from any local #keepthecap activities – on your association’s digital media sites.

One of the activities calls for wearing “Save Our Public Schools” stickers. MTA field staff are trying to get stickers to as many local associations as possible before June 6, either by delivering them in person or sending a batch by mail. If you need stickers, please contact your field rep.

The threat to our members and to public education from an unlimited number of charter schools is very real. We will lose if we sit this one out, but we can win if we work together with allies representing parents, students and other public school advocates. Tomorrowwe are sending the information below to all MTA members. Please consider resending it to them in a few days with your own message about why this is so important. If you need commitment cards, stickers or other materials, talk to your MTA field representative.

Week of Action — June 6-10

GOAL: Connect Save Our Public Schools to local education issues and the November ballot question

Save Our Public Schools was launched in March to fight the proposed ballot measure to lift the cap on charter schools – schools that already drain more than $400 million a year from our district public schools. The MTA is a major participant in the “keep the cap” effort. Heading into June, we are intensifying our local outreach efforts. MTA members are encouraged to participate in some or all of the activities planned for a Week of Action from June 6-10. This is a great opportunity to identify supporters, collect commitment cards and raise public awareness about the issue. Here are some action options.

Option 1 — Keep It Local                                                                                                               

Highlight the importance of keeping local control of education and the negative impact that lifting the cap would have on your schools. Thank your School Committee members if they have passed a resolution; ask them to consider passing one if they haven’t. Go here to see if your community has taken action. Go here for a sample resolution.

Ask: Contact your School Committee members. Say “thank you” or ask them to take action. 

Option 2 — Stick to Public Schools (Sticker Day)                                                           

Wear “Save Our Public Schools” stickers and/or hold signs to promote visibility. (Stickers and signs will be available in many locals and at MTA’s regional offices.) Take photos of supporters wearing stickers and post/tweet pictures. Don’t forget to use #keepthecap and the handle @SOPublicSchools.

Ask: Wear a sticker, hold a sign, take a selfie. E-mail your photos to or tweet and post them. 

Option 3 — Fully Fund Public Schools

Go here to find out how much your district is losing to charters and share that information on social media. Hold a sign describing unmet needs in your district that could be addressed with the funding that is lost to charters. MTA regional offices have preprinted signs or you can create your own.

Ask: How much is your district losing to charters? Highlight what you would do with that funding. Take photos of members holding signs; tweet or post them.

Option 4 — The Schools We Deserve (and Those We Don’t)                                    

Highlight success stories and your vision for excellent public schools for all. Draw contrasts with charter schools that use hyperdisciplinary methods and teach to the test.

Ask: Tell us what your public school does well and why the goal is excellent public schools for all.

Option 5—Talk to 10 on the 10th                                                                                       

Ask people to talk to 10 friends, family members or peers about the November ballot question to help us identify voters. Go here to share information about Save Our Public Schools campaign supporters you have identified. That will save us from having to call them in the future – and save them from getting an unnecessary voter ID call!

Ask: Talk to 10 people about keeping the cap on charter schools.

For more information, go to and


Joint HTA and HPS Statement

Joint HTA and HPS Statement

The Holyoke Public Schools and the Holyoke Teachers Association want to wish our staff and their families a happy holiday season! We appreciate that 2015 has been a year with many changes, including new district leadership and a bold turnaround plan. We applaud your continued professionalism, eagerness to share your input, and above all, your commitment to our students and their families.

It is important that you take time over the holiday break to rest, relax, and recharge. Research suggests that educators should use the holidays to disconnect from work ( wellbeing.html). As the findings point out, this will help prevent burnout and exhaustion in the long run.

We pledge to work together to ensure that you receive the support, guidance, and direction to deliver on our promises to children. We look forward to 2016 and building a bright future in the Holyoke Public Schools with you.

Holyoke Teachers Association Responds to DLC Report

For immediate release: Dec. 14, 2015
For additional information, contact HTA President Gus Morales, xxx-xxx-xxxx

Holyoke Teachers Association Responds to DLC Report

The Holyoke Teachers Association shares the concerns expressed in the community about the report issued by the Disability Law Center. Our members want to be sure that all students in Holyoke, and specifically those at the Peck School, are provided with a safe and productive learning environment.

As the professionals who directly address the learning and caretaking needs of students in a high-needs educational setting, our members at the Peck School have long raised concerns about systemic problems. Issues include the need for more resources, higher staffing levels, and appropriate student placements.

The HTA stands by the staff at Peck. A lawyer from the Massachusetts Teachers Association attended each of the interviews that the DLC conducted. Based on the attorney’s observations and report to us, the HTA believes that the advocacy group is not portraying an entirely accurate or fair picture.

We look forward to working with the district attorney and will cooperate fully with his office in the days ahead.

Membership Update Turnaround Plan

Members of the HTA,

Thursday, October 1, the leadership of HTA met with Dr. Zrike in order to discuss the changes that will be taking place as a result of the Turnaround Plan. (

While there are many issues that we will be facing in the coming year, we would like to take a moment to make sure you are all aware of some of the more pressing matters regarding the Turnaround Plan.

1. Receiver Review

  • Effective immediately, anyone on a Directed Growth or Improvement Plan will be under review. The receiver will establish a process for review that will be shared in advance with each staff member identified for review.

2. Evaluation

  • Effective immediately, the evaluation will more closely reflect DESE model language for evaluations. More specific guidance will be shared next week and staff will be trained on the new model.

3. Grievance Procedure

  • Effective immediately, any grievances that fall within the boundaries as put forth by the Turnaround Plan will be subject to the grievance procedure laid out in the Turnaround Plan.

4. Performance Pay

  • The performance-based salary system will not be implemented until the 2016-2017 school year. For the remainder of this school year, all salary schedules will remain. For clarification, the plan does not call for union staff to reapply for their positions at the end of the school year and any changes in the compensation system next year will not result in a reduction to someone’s pay.

5. Extended Day

  • Any implementation of an extended day will not take place during this school year. The earliest that we will see this implemented is at the outset of the 2016-2017 school year. We will be going from 990 hours of instruction to 1330 hours of instruction.

There are many more things that will surface as we have the time to delve deeper into the document. We will keep you posted as soon as we know anything. We realize that many of you will have questions and we ask that you be patient, as this will be ongoing. Dr. Zrike will be visiting all schools over the next 2 1/2 weeks to answer any questions staff might have about the plan. We will continue to meet with Dr. Zrike and figure out exactly how all of these changes will affect us this year and the following year.

In Solidarity,

HTA Leadership