Latest News

“As we have been saying for many months now, our top priority is to get our schools open safely and keep them open for full in-person learning.”

MTA President Merrie Najimy

Move to require masks in schools is a 'significant advancement'

The vote by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to require all public school staff and students older than 5 to wear masks while in school is a significant advancement toward keeping our communities safe as we prepare for a return to full in-person learning.

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MTA supports vaccination requirement for educators and students

The Massachusetts Teachers Association announced on Aug. 17 that it is in favor of requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for all employees and eligible students in public schools and colleges throughout the state. The MTA Board of Directors voted to adopt the position during an emergency meeting.

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MTA Board calls on governor and DESE to require masks in schools and colleges

The Massachusetts Teachers Association’s Board of Directors unanimously voted on Aug. 1 to support the mandatory use of face coverings in public schools from preK through higher education as part of a multi-pronged strategy to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The MTA board took action on this health and safety matter as COVID-19 cases rise, particularly with the spread of the delta variant and its link to breakthrough infections of fully vaccinated individuals.

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What can students and educators expect in the new school year?

COVID-19 & Schools

Legislators: Invest in Our Building Infrastructure

Back to School 2021

COVID-19 and Schools: The Latest News and What's Next

A 'Joyful Day" for Educators

Organize and Advocate for Federal COVID Relief Funding

Resources Available to MTA Locals and Chapters

Through the American Rescue Plan Act, the federal government is making an unprecedented investment in public education from prekindergarten through higher education. Now is the time to organize and advocate for how that money is spent to benefit our students and our communities. Visit to access the collection of resources, materials and strategies available to MTA local associations and chapters.

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Federal aid to benefit state and local public education

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, signed by President Joe Biden in March 2021, provides substantial resources for Massachusetts schools, colleges and universities. It also provides funding for individuals, for other targeted priorities, and for state and local governments.

The information is now available on the education funding itself and on the aid to state and local governments that can also be used to support public education. The following are some important points:

  • The funding for the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund – known as ESSER III – provides $1,657,626,171 for elementary and secondary schools in Massachusetts. The funds are available beginning July 1, but districts have until October 4 to apply. They are required to consult with stakeholders including educators and their unions in developing their plans for using the funds. The funds can be used can be used into FY2024.
  • The funding for the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund – known as HEERF III – provides an estimated $432,794, 957 for community colleges, state universities and the University of Massachusetts system (and modest additional amounts for those that are minority serving institutions). About half of the funding is required to be used for grants to students. The funds can be used into FY2024.
  • In addition to the funding specifically targeted for education, our state government will receive about $4.5 billion, and local governments will receive about $3.4 billion. Those funds can also be used to support the education of students in elementary and secondary schools and our institutions of public higher education. The local funds will be divided between 2021 and 2022 and be available for use through 2024. Go here for a description of the allowable uses for these funds.

Funding by School District and Higher Ed Campus

Legal Help for MTA Members

Get answers to frequently asked questions related to COVID-19 from the MTA's Legal Division.
Health and Safety Resources 
Checklist for In-Person Learning

A list of questions to help ensure the safest possible environment for in-person learning.

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Bargaining and Online Resources for MTA Members

Resources and tools for bargaining health and safety conditions.

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Building Safety Checklist

A list of preparations to incorporate with your local association's building safety plan.

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Information Request/Demand to Bargain

Request form based on MGL ch. 150E.

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A Guide for Bargaining the Safe Return to Schools and Campuses

Policies and practices for a safe return to our schools and campuses.

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