May 19, 2017 7:39 pm

Act now to stop cuts to public education

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We need you to contact your U.S. representatives today.

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and her favored school choice policies have faced fierce criticism, but this hasn’t stopped DeVos and Trump from pushing their privatization agenda.

A copy of the White House’s preliminary budget proposal has been released, and it contains a $9.2 billion cut to the Department of Education. $400 million will be spent to expand charter schools and private and religious school vouchers. Their budget sets $1 billion aside to steer public schools toward privatized choice-friendly policies. Funding for college work-study programs would be cut along with public-service loan forgiveness. Hundreds of millions of dollars that our schools now use to reduce class size, and provide mental health services for students, would also be cut.

Make sure your members of Congress know that you want them to defend public education from Trump and DeVos’s hostile budget, and to reject efforts to create federal incentives for states to adopt school choice policies. Want to learn the facts about how privatized choice affects your local school? Read this.

Click here to send your letter now, and please share this campaign widely.

We’ve also prepared tweets you can send directly to Trump and DeVos to let them know how you feel about their budget priorities. Just click the links below, and the tweets will be ready to send.

You can share a link to the tweets here.

We don’t need $400 million to expand charters/private & religious school vouchers @BetsyDeVosED @realDonaldTrump

We don’t need $1 billion to coerce public schools into adopting your failed school choice policies @BetsyDeVosED @realDonaldTrump

Research says class size reduction decreases achievement gaps. Better for kids. Leave Title II alone! @BetsyDeVosED @realDonaldTrump

STOP privatizing our public schools! They are the pillar of our democratic society & serve 85% of children. @BetsyDeVosED @realDonaldTrump

NPE’s Social Media Team

If you care about our public schools and have a big social media following, NPE needs you!

We recently teamed up with Shoot4Education in Gowanus, Brooklyn to film some of our movement’s most vibrant voices. NPE co-founder Anthony Cody recently wrote about the event on his blog, Living in Dialogue .

Each speaker drew from their own experience to tell a story about public education. There was no misty nostalgia or dreamy mythology of public schools of the past. Their stories painted a portrait of what is now being done to unwind our society’s aspiration of a quality education for all.

Audience members were asked to help share the videos once they are edited and released. The films will be shared over the next year – released one or two at a time, for maximum impact. This is the strategy of a grassroots campaign with minimal financial resources.

When the videos are released, we will need your help to spread them far and wide. Please click here to sign up to join NPE’s social media team , and commit to amplifying the voices of some of the activists on the front lines of the battle to save our schools.

The Parent Tookit for Student Privacy

The Parent Toolkit for Student Privacy: A Guide to Protecting Your Child’s Sensitive School Data from Snoops, Hackers, and Marketers was just released by the Parent Coalition for Student Privacy (PCSP) and the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC).

Available free on the PCSP website, this Toolkit offers clear explanations about what rights parents already have in federal law to protect their children’s privacy, what red flags to look for in the privacy policies of vendors offering classroom apps, and most importantly, what steps parents can take to advocate for best practices at their children’s schools. Just in the last few weeks, there have been breaches of sensitive data by two major school vendors, Schoolzilla and Edmodo , and there are ongoing questions about the privacy of the voluminous student data collected by the College Board and the Summit/Facebook learning platform , among others.

This toolkit was created by parents for parents, including the leaders of the movement to defeat inBloom, the massive database of student data that was created to store and share the personal data of students in 9 states and districts, that closed its doors in 2014.

The Parent Toolkit for Student Privacy can be downloaded here . You can also sign up for a webinar co-hosted by PCSP, CCFC and Parents Across America on May 23, 2017 at 8 PM EST to help parents use the toolkit’s resources.

And don’t forget our Conference!

Our annual NPE Action/NPE conference  will take place this year on October 14 and 15 in Oakland, California. This year’s theme is “Now more than ever: Fight for public education.” We are also planning a special event for Friday evening for those who can come early.

This year we have limited conference space that allows only 500 attendees.

You can now register here .
And here is a link to make your hotel reservation at a reduced price.

Do you want to present? We are looking for more workshops on School Privatization. That application will be open for a few more days and it can be found here .

We still have a limited number of scholarships. If you need a scholarship, apply here .

If you can’t attend the conference, but would like to sponsor an advocate who needs financial support to attend, go here .

Please do not wait. We expect to sell out quickly, given the interest in public education. So save this email and register ahead of the crowd.

Thanks for all you do,

Carol Burris

Executive Director, Network for Public Education