BOSTON (WWLP) – The election may be a year away, but progress on ballot questions is underway.

The deadline to submit over 74,000 signatures to proceed with the ballot campaign is closing in, and the Massachusetts Teachers Association (MTA) announced that they have not only met that threshold but have surpassed it.

In September, Attorney General Andrea Campbell certified the MTA’s ballot question which would remove the graduation requirement tied to the MCAS exam. Since then, the MTA has been busy gathering signatures in order to progress in the process of securing a spot on next year’s ballot.

Ballot question supporters need to file at least 74,574 signatures from registered voters and submit those signatures by November 22nd, which is next Wednesday. In mid-October, the MTA achieved that milestone, but for safe measures, they continued gathering signatures and have now surpassed 130,000 signatures.

Now, the MTA is continuing to collect signatures even though they have surpassed the threshold.

“It was frankly, an easy sell. In other words, people were rushing up to sign on, they feel very strongly about this issue of getting rid of using MCAS to determine who gets a diploma or not'” said Max Page, MTA president.

After filing signatures with local officials, they must be filed with the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s office by December 6th.

Any ballot question with enough signatures will then head to the legislatures in January where a hearing will be held and then the question can be approved, substituted, or declined to take action upon. If lawmakers decline action, over 12,000 more signatures are then needed to progress to the ballot.

According to the MTA, the passage of this ballot question would align Massachusetts with the 42 other states that don’t use a single, high-stakes test to determine graduation.

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