DFER-MA on WGBH Debate Between Liam Kerr and State Senator Pat Jehlen

BOSTON – Today, WGBH hosted a nearly 40-minute debate on the 2016 election and Massachusetts public charter schools between Democrats for Education Reform Massachusetts (DFER-MA) State Director Liam Kerr and State Senator Pat Jehlen. The conversation was hosted by WGBH’s Mike Deehan and can be viewed online here.

“I want to thank WGBH for hosting and Senator Jehlen for joining me for what we at DFER believe is a critical debate about expanding public educational opportunity to more children in Massachusetts,” said Liam Kerr, DFER-MA State Director. “This fall, DFER is committed to leveling the playing field for courageous Massachusetts Democrats who will champion our children and the world-class public education they deserve. When Democrats have our students’ back, DFER will have theirs.”

According to public campaign finance reports for the September 8 primary election, the independent expenditure political action committees of DFER Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Teachers Association (MTA) are on track to spend the exact same amount of money on behalf of their endorsed candidates.

After proposing a debate to discuss campaign funding and finance issues in this election cycle, it is clear that Senator Jehlen is far more focused on DFER’s campaign finance reports than reviewing her own. She was surprisingly unfamiliar with her disclosure reports. Transparency and compliance are core pillars of fair, open, and Democratic elections, and we encourage everyone to visit the Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance to stay informed: http://www.ocpf.us/

“The moral case on behalf of kids is so clear. We have to expand what’s working for them — not foreclose opportunity for our most vulnerable students simply because it doesn’t align with divisive adult-driven politics,” said Kerr. “DFER is committed to building on Governor Patrick and President Obama’s historic, progressive legacies on public education and expanding high-performing public charter schools that are dramatically improving student learning and student success.”

Additionally, the Senator flat-out refused to talk about — or call for an end to — the negative attacks that the Massachusetts Teachers Association (MTA) has been hurling at her opponent, Leland Cheung. This election cycle, as in all previous elections, DFER-MA is committed to having a positive debate about who is most willing to prioritize improving public education, rather than engaging in distracting and toxic personal attacks.


Liam Kerr, State Director, DFER-MA
[email protected]