Yes on 1 Campaign: School Counselors’ Plea for Help Highlights Urgent Need for Fair Share Amendment to Fund K-12 Education

Oct 13, 2022

Question 1 on the November Ballot Would Help Fund Schools, Colleges, Roads, Bridges & Transit

BOSTON – In response to a call from a coalition of Massachusetts school-based counselors and educators for additional resources and staff to meet the mental health needs of students, the campaign working to pass the Fair Share Amendment today emphasized the need for additional funding for K-12 schools.

“Students throughout Massachusetts are struggling to recover from the effects of the pandemic – both academically and when it comes to their mental health. They clearly need more support than they’re getting today, and that’s what Question 1 will deliver,” said Jeron Mariani, Campaign Manager for Fair Share for Massachusetts. “We cannot afford to let an entire generation of young people fall behind. Question 1 will deliver billions of dollars to help support public school students with more individualized attention, more counselors, and more wrap-around services to meet their individual needs and get them back on track.”

The Fair Share Amendment, the proposed state tax on incomes above $1 million, would raise billions of dollars that are constitutionally dedicated to transportation and public education. It is Question 1 on the November statewide ballot.

According to the Massachusetts School Counselors Association, Massachusetts has only 1 counselor for every 364 students, much less than the expert recommendation of at least 1 for every 250 students. Nationally, 70% of public schools have reported an increase in the percentage of students seeking mental health services at school since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and 76% of schools also reported an increase in staff voicing concerns about students exhibiting symptoms such as depression, anxiety, and trauma.

"I’ve seen my kids and their peers go through so much over the past few years. It’s been really tough for them!” said Liz Speakman, a mother of two from Quincy. “Question 1 is a chance to give them healthier learning environments where they can concentrate on their education. Question 1 would let us make the investments our kids need so they can reach their full potential.”

Background on Question 1: the Fair Share Amendment

The Fair Share Amendment – Question 1 on the November ballot – will allow Massachusetts to improve our transportation and public education systems by making the very rich pay their fair share. Question 1 would create a 4 percent tax on the portion of a person’s annual income above $1 million and constitutionally dedicate the funds to be spent on transportation and public education. Only people who earn more than $1 million annually will be impacted; 99% of us won’t pay a penny more. And we’ll all benefit from better schools, roads, bridges, and public transportation.

Thousands of educators, workers, small business owners, parents, faith leaders, municipal officials, drivers and transit riders, and more than 350 organizations across the state are working together to pass Question 1. Our campaign has been endorsed by 80 labor unions, 63 community organizing groups, 15 faith-based groups, more than 75 businesses, and more than 100 other social service and not-for-profit organizations focused on housing, education, transportation, public health, and the environment. Learn more and get involved at FairShareMA.com.

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The Fair Share for Massachusetts campaign is led by Raise Up Massachusetts, a coalition of community organizations, faith-based groups, and labor unions committed to building an economy that invests in families, gives everyone the opportunity to succeed, and creates broadly shared prosperity. Since our coalition came together in 2013, we have nearly doubled wages for hundreds of thousands of working people by winning two increases in the state’s minimum wage, won best-in-the-nation earned sick time and paid family and medical leave benefits for workers and their families, and started to build an economy that works for all of us, not just those at the top.