Guest Op-Ed: Huge Education Funding Increase Will Be a Game-Changer

By Roberto Jimenez,              

Chelsea’s children deserve the best education we can provide for them. However, our school budgets have not been keeping up with the increasing cost of educating our students. Although Massachusetts is number one in education in the nation, not all students have equal access to this educational quality. Gateway cities like Chelsea have, for many years, been underfunded by our state government, which means our students don’t have access to resources that would empower more of them to find successful careers and become active leaders in our community. However, it looks like things are about to change.

Over the past month, both chambers of the State Legislature unanimously passed the Student Opportunity Act, which would boost education funding in Massachusetts by $1.5 billion. Final numbers are not available yet, but Chelsea will likely receive over $30 million in additional funding after the bill is signed into law. This has been a hard-fought victory, and over the past year, I have been advocating for this change: I have met with our legislators, been part of demonstrations on Beacon Hill, and written about why we so urgently need this. My desire to secure these resources for our students ultimately led me to run for School Committee At-Large.

More money means that we can hire more teachers and give our students the individualized attention that they need. It means that our English language learners and students with special needs will see improved supports that will help them get ahead faster. Ultimately, it means more opportunities for our children to grow up understanding that if they work hard they will be able to achieve anything they set their minds to. The School Committee has a responsibility to make sure the funding is used in ways that will actually improve our students’ lives.

I have advocated for increased educational funding tirelessly since before deciding to run for office. This bill is a huge win for our students, and it comes with no increase to your taxes. If you believe in supporting all of our students throughout their K-12 experience, I encourage you to call your State Senator and State Representative to tell them you support the Student Opportunity Act, and to come out and vote for Roberto Jiménez Rivera on Tuesday, November 5. If elected, I will make sure our district uses this funding wisely, and I will continue to fight for our students and our schools.

Roberto Jimenez, is a candidate for School Commititee seeking election.

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