The Massachusetts Teachers Association (MTA) awarded the MTA Friend of Education Award to Boston City Councillor Tito Jackson this past Friday, May 19, 2017.

The award ceremony took place at the MTA’s 172nd Annual Meeting of Delegates in Boston. The MTA represents 110,000 members in more than 400 local associations throughout Massachusetts.

Councillor Jackson is the Boston City Council’s Chair of Education and has been a tireless supporter of the students, educators, and parents of the Commonwealth’s public schools.

Councillor Jackson was very honored to receive such recognition. “I am extremely grateful to the teachers of Massachusetts for such an honor,” he said. “Massachusetts has the best public schools in the country because of our educators. But looking after some of our most vulnerable students, our teachers toil often without the support they deserve, often in conditions neither they nor their students deserve. At the city, state, and national levels, we must always protect, not cut and undermine, our schools because they are at the heart of our democracy.”

Two others were also honored by the MTA on Friday. Juan Cofield, President of the New England Area Conference of the NAACP, received the MTA Friend of Labor Award. Mr. Cofield chaired the Save Our Public Schools coalition. The MTA President’s Award was given to Donna Bivens, the former Director of the Boston Busing/Desegregation Project at the Union of Minority Neighborhoods.

In a statement provided by the MTA Councillor Jackson, Ms. Bivens, and Mr. Cofield, were recognized “for their commitment to social justice, labor and public education.” The Association’s President Barbara Madeloni also noted that,  “the three honorees provided invaluable guidance and support during a turbulent and difficult year for public education.”

The statement noted Councillor Jackson’s contribution to students and public schools in particular:

“The Friend of Education award was presented to Boston City Councilor Tito Jackson, another passionate voice during the No on 2 campaign in favor of justice and fairness for students and public schools.
 
Jackson, the son of two community activists, was elected to the Boston City Council for the first time in 2011. He was one of two co-sponsors of the resolution that the council passed last August expressing opposition to Question 2.
 
Jackson is chair of the council’s Education Committee and the Special Committee on the Status of Black and Latino Men and Boys. He also serves on a number of other committees. In January, he announced his candidacy for mayor of Boston.”
In his acceptance remarks, Councillor Jackson accepted the award on behalf of his parents Rosa and Herbert Jackson, and on behalf of Jean McGuire, the former director of METCO. He also accepted the award on behalf of the 57,000 students of the Boston Public Schools, and the over 96% of all students educated in public schools mostly by MTA members across the Commonwealth.