May 2, 2019 3:44 am

Grassroots Education Network- April 2019 Newsletter

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The NPE Grassroots Education Network is a network of over 125 grassroots organizations nationwide who have joined together to preserve, promote, improve, and strengthen our public schools.  If you know of a group that would like to join this powerful network, please go here to sign up.

If you have any questions about the NPE Grassroots Education Network please contact Marla Kilfoyle, NPE Grassroots Education Network Liaison at

General Announcement from Marla

I was honored to begin my position as the NPE Grassroots Education Network Liaison on February 1.  Since that time we have had the pleasure of adding some amazing organizations to The Network for Public Education’s Grassroots Education Network.  As we continue to grow and adapt, I would like to formally welcome our new network members: Oregon BATs, North Carolina Families for Testing Reform, Support our Students Alabama, Oklahoma Parents and Educators for Public Education, Oklahoma Parent Legislative Action Committee (OKPLAC), California Educators Rising, Virginia Educators United, Ohio BATs, Broward BATs, Schools and Communities United Wisconsin, New Bedford Coalition to Save our Schools, Badass Teachers Association, Washington BATs, NYS BATs, Missouri BATs, Kentucky Pastors for Children, Northwest Indiana Coalition for Public Education, CFISD Community Leadership Committee (Texas), Arizona Educators United, Washington Paramount Duty, Virginia BATs, FUSE (New Rochelle Federation of United School Employees), Pueblo Education Coalition Colorado, Trinational Coalition to Defend Public Education (USA), and Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation (Ontario, Canada).

National Organizing

NPE Grassroots Education Network national organizations are on the move for public education. Defending the Early Years is calling all early childhood educators! Registration is now open for DEY’s first Early Childhood Summer Organizing Leadership Institute July 7-10, 2019 at the Eaton Hotel in Washington, DC. Check it out!

In the Public Interest offers their weekly privatization report.  This is a must follow and share. The Journey for Justice Alliance made a trip to Washington, D.C. on April 9th for a Senate briefing over their report Failing Brown v. Board of Ed.  You can view their briefing here. Fairtest assessment reform advocate Lisa Guisbond and SOS NJ Executive Director Julie Borst wrote a powerful op ed in the NJ Spotlight over why New Jersey should seize the opportunity to step away from graduation tests.

The Parent Coalition for Student Privacy continues to expose Summit in this powerful blog post entitled – McPherson KS Students Join the Rebellion vs. Summit and Depersonalized Learning and Win the Right to Opt Out. PCSP co-chair Leonie Haimson also participated in a press conference in NYC to  tell the Mayor to stop stalling and cease violating student privacy by giving charter schools access to student information to help them market their schools.

Parents for Public Schools National wrote an informative article supporting the work of their Hawaii branch. The article highlighted equitable funding and how the Hawaii school district is unlike any other in the United States. Read that piece here. The Schott Foundation  will be hosting a webinar on Tuesday May 7th, 2019 2:00 – 3:00pm ET – Investing in Safe, Supportive and Police-Free Schools. You can register here. The Badass Teachers Association is listing and following teacher actions across the country.  To keep up with BATS nationwide go to their open Facebook page. Trinational Coalition to Defend Public Education (USA) joined the NPE Grassroots Education Network this month. Trinational Coalition to Defend Public Education (USA) is an organization created by people in the educational systems of the countries of Mexico, Canada, and the US. The NPE Grassroots Education Network is also excited to welcome the Ontario (Canada) Secondary School Teachers Federation. Currently the Federation is battling cuts to education. To learn more about their work visit their open Facebook page.

The Network for Public Education released our Asleep at the Wheel report which describes the U.S. Department of Education Charter Schools Program’s waste and fraud. The report estimates that waste to total one  billion dollars since the program’s beginning. Several members of the House quoted from that report when questioning Betsy De Vos. For example, Michigan representative Haley Stevens (See Rep. Stevens at 5:18) of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education referenced the report when questioning DeVos. DeVos subsequently dismissed  the report during her testimony. Carol Burris, Executive Director for NPE and Diane Ravitch, President of NPE responded to the Secretary in the Washington Post. You can read their response here.


NPE Grassroots Education Network – State Organizations Support Public Education

Please use this clearinghouse of information to inform people in the various states about the NPE Grassroots Education Network organizations. Please encourage people to join them and support their work! Call on family, friends, and colleagues to join the fight to save public education!


SOS (Save our Schools) hosted a screening of A Backpack Full of Cash and an evening with Jitu Brown.  Check out the invitation here.  We will have the video for you next month.


Voices for Education hosted a radio show in which people could tweet questions for education Superintendent Hoffman. To listen to the episode go here and click on the April 13th program. Arizonans for Charter School Accountability issued a report on the need for more funding for public schools. The report highlights the fact that district schools go unrepaired and teachers underpaid in order to finance charter real estate empires. Save our Schools Arizona was nominated for Best Grassroots Effort in the Arizona Capitol Times “Best of the Capitol” annual event. See Beth Lewis’s tweet here announcing this great honor. Save our Schools Arizona also met with local business leaders to promote support for public education and the fact that it is the key to economic success.


California Educators Rising will be taking part in a statewide day of action for California students, families, and teachers. To learn more about this event, go here.


We are excited to add the Pueblo Education Coalition to the NPE Grassroots Education Network this month. They are currently working on getting community schools in their area. To learn more about their work visit their open Facebook page.


Fund Education NOW, Broward BATs, and Opt Out Florida Network continue to fight charter expansion in Florida. The Opt Out Florida Network continues to offer the most comprehensive materials for opting out of testing in Florida. Their Facebook page is a must visit for information on how to get schools back to focusing on the needs of children NOT testing companies.


Public Education Matters Georgia reported that the 2019 legislative session is officially over and no voucher bill was passed this session. To read more about this amazing victory go here.


Parents for Public Schools Hawaii engaged in a funding campaign for their schools. They were featured on the PPS National page here regarding their unique funding fight and why it is so different than the fight in the states.


Indiana Coalition for Public Education held a successful rally at their Statehouse on April 16th.  To view the powerful pictures from that day go here. The Northeast Indiana Friends of Public Education attended an evening with their state Superintendent of Instruction Jennifer McCormick. To see the video of NEIFPE in action go here. Northwest Indiana Coalition for Public Education hosted an event on April 23rd at Merrillville High School. They welcomed Dr. Charity Flores from IDOE to discuss the ILEARN. To see the video of this event go here.


Illinois Raise Your Hand hosted a “Play-In” at City Hall on April 10th.  Check out their series of videos. Illinois Raise Your Hand will also be hosting a webinar on how to protect student data privacy. The date is May 6th. To learn more and register go here.


Game On for Kansas published a powerful op-ed in the Topeka-Capitol Journal. To read the op-ed on school funding by Judith Deedy go here.


Kentucky SOS and Dear JCPS highlight their fight on their radio show.  You can listen to a discussion of their mission here.  Pastors for Kentucky Children hosted a conversation in Covington, Kentucky on April 27th. They are working hard to create church and school partnership in local communities! To learn more about their work go here.


Citizens for Public Schools and New Bedford Coalition to Save our Schools will be rallying to increase school funding with their Fund Our Future Campaign on May 16th.  For more information you can go here.


The Baltimore Algebra Project launched their new initiative #MathIsFun with Safe Alternative. To learn more about this project, check out their Facebook page.


The Michigan Network for Equity in Education is asking the public to provide input  on the proposed state Social Studies standards. To learn more about this important action visit this link.


Parents for Public Schools – Moss Point hosted their third annual Reading on the River 2019 on April 6th. To read about this event go here.


Missouri BATs are new to the NPE Network this month. If you live in Missouri and would like to join, go here.

North Carolina

Public Schools First NC is hosting a May 22nd Conversation with Governor Hunt. To read about the event, go here. Parents for Public Schools of Pitt County are packing snack bags for teachers to carry with them in Raleigh! To see this amazing action, head over to their Facebook page. North Carolina Families for School Testing Reform are proud supporters of the NC Education Rally on May 1st.


Please be sure to listen to this radio interview on LB 670 featuring Stand for Schools Founder and Executive Director, Ann Hunter-Pirtle. Nebraska Loves Public Schools held a screening of the first episode of their new series, The Mind Inside on May 1st. To view the trailer go here.

New Jersey

Save our Schools NJ Executive Director Julie Borst co-authored a powerful op-ed in the NJ Spotlight titled New Jersey Should Seize Opportunity to Step Away from Graduation Tests. To read the op ed go here. The Newark Student Union has an amazing website that follows all their powerful movements. Check it out.


Educate Nevada NOW issued a press release showing how Nevada lags in funding education.

New York

Class Size Matters is proposing that the NYC Council allocate $200 million to be targeted to reducing class size, starting first in the early grades and in struggling schools. To read more about this proposal, go here. NYSAPE, NYC Opt Out, LI Opt Out, and Class Size Matters chronicled horror stories associated with the NYS ELA assessments.  You can read the stories here and here. They also include stories of districts pressuring families to not opt out to the NYS Board of Regents.  As a result, the Regents issued this statement. NYC Opt Out produced a great flyer for opting out of the Math assessment here. NYC Opt Out education activist Johanna Garcia links high-stakes testing to data mining and corporate profits in this video that can be found here. FUSE (New Rochelle Federation of United School Employees) is new to the network this month. To learn more about them go here.

Meanwhile ECE Policy Works published a powerful piece by early childhood educator Renee Dinnerstein calling on parents to opt their children out of testing. To read and share this piece go here. The Alliance for Quality Education (AQE) NY’s Jasmine Gripper appeared on HBO in an episode of Problem Areas with Wyatt Cenac! She talked about how school safety measures like metal detectors and police in schools can make students less safe. To watch a preview of the video go here. The MORE Caucus will be joining NYC citizens in a protest rally, May 1st,  against Betsy DeVos. To read more about this protest go here. Jackson Heights People for Public Schools continue to focus on many of the important issues facing NYC students and parents. To read up on the issues that they are working on go here.


Oklahoma Pastors for Kids Executive Director Rev. Clark Frailey sat on a panel moderated by state Senator Mary Boren titled “The Ethics of (De)Funding Public Education: Is This OK?” Oklahoma Pastors for Kids also held a powerful press conference on the education crisis in Oklahoma.  To view the press conference go here. Oklahoma Parent Legislative Action Committee had a very successful Capitol Day on April 16th.   Here is an article about their Capitol Day.  Oklahoma Parents and Educators for Public Education joined the network this month.  We are so happy to have them! To learn more about their work, visit their open Facebook page.


Ohio BATs held a successful rally #OhioKidsCantWait. To see news coverage of this event go here. Public Education Partners will be hosting a conversation on May 16th between Network for Public Education President and renowned education author and historian, Dr. Diane Ravitch, and Ohio’s own William L. Phillis, Executive Director of the Ohio Coalition for Equity & Adequacy of School Funding! To register go here. It Takes A Village To Tackle HB70 (HB70 is a state school takeover law) attended a town hall hosted by Randall Sampson, chairman of the Lorain Academic Distress Commission, on April 24th. Members of It Takes A Village To Tackle HB70 continue to speak up about the disastrous impact of state takeovers. To view the video go here.


The Community Alliance for Public Education (CAPE) support Oregon parents and their right to opt out of SBAC testing. To see their action go here. Oregon Save our Schools published a powerful blog on the way to save money for Oregon schools.  The blog titled , Save Money, Gain Time, Dump SBAC, can be read here. Oregon BATs will be supporting the May 8th teacher walk out. To read more about it go here.


Keystone State Education Coalition is pushing hard against Education Tax Credits. To read more about this work go here.

Rhode Island

Providence Student Union welcomed Diana Canales as their first Developmental Director. To read more about Diana and her work go here.

South Carolina

Quality Education Project is gearing up their membership to support the May 1st teacher walk out. To see their movements visit their open Facebook page.


The Momma Bears continue to expose legislation intended to privatize public education with their amazing and well read blog. Here they expose the ESA vote and how Rep. Abney blew the whistle on what she called Gov. Lee’s “extortion” plan to secure votes for the ESA voucher bill.


CFSID Community Leadership Committee joined with Just Fund It Texas to send love letters to their lawmakers about why they love public schools and why Texas schools deserve more funding. To see this campaign go here. The Texas Coalition for Public Schools has an extensive list of groups fighting for public education in Texas.  If you live in Texas, find a group you can join and support. Pastors for Texas Children held a luncheon to benefit Texas public education on April 23rd.  At the luncheon they honored Dr. Don Rogers, Executive Director of the Texas Rural Education Association, for his lifetime of service to Texas public school children. The Rev. Charlie Johnson of Pastors for Texas Children was on BJC Podcast talking about why pastors care about public schools. To listen, and share, this podcast go here. Texas Kids Can’t Wait continues to update their Facebook page with issues that are important to Texas. To keep up with movements in Texas head over to their open Facebook page. Community Voices for Public Education took part in a press conference to stop state school takeovers in Houston. To see that press conference go here.


Virginia Educators United and Virginia BATs will be engaging in a day of action on May 1st to support teachers in North Carolina and South Carolina. They have provided a great resource page for Virginia educators. To see those resources go here.

Washington State

WA BATs worked hard for many years with their local and state unions to get the WA legislature to approve a bill to remove graduation testing requirements.  This happened on April 22nd. To see that work go here. Washington Paramount Duty held an Advocatweet Campaign on twitter to fully fund public education. To view that campaign go here. Washington Paramount Duty also conducted a letter campaign to fund Washington’s public schools with a capital gains tax and flexible local levies.

Washington D.C.

First Focus on Children is an outstanding resource for information on child poverty and its impact on our children. To check out all their resources and MORE go here.


Parents for Public Schools Milwaukee encouraged their members to submit testimony to the Joint Committee on Finance. PPS Milwaukee encouraged members in their testimony to be sure to let lawmakers know the citizens of Milwaukee value investing in public schools.  To view this event go here. Wisconsin Education Network encouraged citizens to testify at budget hearings last month. To view their call to action go here. Finally, Schools and Communities United continue to share and support events that create a bridge between schools and communities. To view one of those events go here.


NPE Grassroots Education Network – Resources and Graphics

Here is a link to our resources page.  It will help you navigate resources covering a variety of topics. This is a live document and will be updated so check back for new resources.

Here is a link to our graphics page.  It will provide powerful visuals for you to share on social media. This is a live document and will be updated so check back for new graphics.