Grassroots Education Network- January 2022 Newsletter
The NPE Grassroots Education Network is a network of over 175 grassroots organizations nationwide that 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 on.
If you have any questions about the NPE Grassroots Education Network, please contact Marla Kilfoyle, NPE Grassroots Education Network Liaison, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes from Marla
The NPE/NPE Action Conference will now be held from April 30- May 1. If you have registered we need you to please confirm as soon as possible if you are attending. Please email me if you are attending. After you confirm your attendance, please book your hotel. If you want to register and attend go here for links to register and book your hotel. Now more than ever it is critical that we convene and share strategies. Please attend.
For the past four years, the Network for Public Education has collected and posted charter school scandals from across the United States on a special page of our website entitled Another Day Another Charter School Scandal, which you can find here. NPE has now turned that page into an interactive research database, allowing you to find a collection of stories by state, by scandal type, and by keyword. For example, if you want to search any published story on scandals associated with Success Academy, just type in Success Academy into the query box, and ten stories pop up. Are you looking for stories regarding charter theft or fraud? Use the drop-down menu, and 177 stories appear. At the beginning of the month, we load up all of the stories we found during the prior month. We have presently cataloged stories from 2017- 2019 to the present. Defending the Early Years has a new podcast with Kish Reid. Go here for more information. In the Public Interest’s Donald Cohen has published his new book with Allen Mikaelian. The new book, The Privatization of Everything, is a must-have! To read reviews and order it go here. The Journey for Justice Alliance Dyett Hunger Strikers were honored by the Dyett High School Graduating class for their hunger strike that kept Dyett High School open. Go here to see a video of that tribute. The Schott Foundation asked eight education justice leaders what they’ve learned during 2021. Be sure to keep up with the latest on testing by reading the Fairtest newsletter. In early December, Rethinking Schools posted that a climate justice resolution passed unanimously by the school board in Portland, Oregon, in 2016, says that all students should “come to see themselves as activists and leaders for social and environmental justice.” A good place to start is to connect students with radical activists and movements — past and present — that respect life more than property and authority. The Parent Coalition for Student Privacy has privacy toolkits for parents and educators on their website. Parents for Public Schools December 2021 PPS Clearinghouse focused on what to do with your children during the holiday break. Here is the first of four resources they shared. Parents Across America has a fantastic website full of resources for parents across the country.
Be sure to visit The Badass Teachers Association (BATs) blog on their website. Trinational Coalition to Defend Public Education (USA) has a public Facebook group that features information from Canada, Mexico, and the U.S. about how communities are navigating the worldwide COVID crisis. The Ontario (Canada) Secondary School Teachers Federation hosted a webinar this month that highlighted student voices in Ontario schools. Support Our Students Alberta joined the network this month. To learn about them go here. Wear Red for Ed has an active open Facebook page that tracks the Red for Ed movement nationwide. Uniting to Save Our Schools (USOS) hosted a webinar this month to share strategies on how to stand up to CRT attacks. First Focus Campaign for Children created a powerful video this month on how the expanded Child Tax Credit will be a relief for their families. Kinderchat continues to host its popular Twitter chat every Monday at 9 PM EST. The chats are informative and provide great resources for teaching kindergartners. Check them out on Twitter at #Kinderchat. Kinderchat also has a fantastic website full of resources. Instituto Nueva Escuela created a video this month that documented their history. Fairplay campaign organizer Bzu Shiferaw wrote a blog about her experience encouraging the children in her family to put down their devices this holiday season. Inspired by what she learned about the harmful effects of prolonged screen time on kids, she encouraged her young cousins to play card games, hide-and-seek, and complete fun projects on Thanksgiving.
Equal Opportunity Schools Equal Opportunity Schools and a panel of expert educators hosted a two-part webinar series to discuss ways to reengage, reconnect with, and center students this year. Uniting for Children and Youth (Canada) are concerned citizens of Ottawa-Outaouais. Their mission is to build awareness of how we can make life better for children and youth. Head over to their open Facebook page to keep up with news, and events, from Canada. The National Educators United demanded a 2 week pause this month to protect communities from COVID spread. To read about their campaign go here. UnKoch My Campus joined the network in December. They do amazing work at uncovering the Koch network. To learn about their work go here.
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. This section is also a place to get great ideas on organizing and actions.
SOS (Support our Students) director Teri Michal was one of the panelists for the webinar Standing Up to CRT Attacks put on by Uniting to Save our Schools.
Grassroots Arkansas wrote an open letter to the LRSD Administration in response to their reopening of Face to Face/In person classroom instructions this month.
Voices for Education is working hard to update the public on news regarding public education in Arizona. Be sure to visit Arizonans for Charter School Accountability website that offers resources that compare charter school and public school spending. Save Our Schools Arizona published a powerful statement responding to Gov. Ducey State of the State address. Arizona Educators United published the results of their Return to Safe School survey this month. Keep up with what the Friends of Public Schools-Scottsdale are doing here.
California Educators United is a rank and file-led network of educators and supporters of public education. They are part of the movement for racial equity and social justice, fully funded public education through progressive taxation, and pro-public education and anti-privatization. To follow their movements, go here. The Public Core program, Between Two Teachers, is informative. To view all their archived programs, go here. The Association of RAZA Educators is located in Los Angeles. If you live in the area and are interested in joining their monthly meetings go here. Bay Area Collective Keeping Privatizers Away from Community Schools (BACKPACS) is an organization dedicated to strengthening and protecting public education in the Bay Area. Go here to follow what they are working on. Educators for Democratic Schools-Oakland open Facebook page reports all that is happening in the Oakland Unified School District. To keep up with how LAUSD is handling the Omicron surge be sure to follow Parents Supporting Teachers on Twitter. The San Francisco Berniecrats Education Justice Committee joined the network last month. To learn more about their work go here.
Pueblo Education Coalition’s goal is to represent educators, parents, community members, students, and all stakeholders towards positive change for Pueblo’s public education. To keep up with their movements, go here. Taxpayers for Public Education provided an update on the defeat of Prop 119 here.
Connecticut Public Schools Advocates Children supported the Mitigation 22 campaign for a safe return to school for children. Children Are More Than Test Scores founder Dr. Jesse Turner hosted a radio show on the Tom Flickin Show titled Three Alarm Fire at the School House. Go here to see that show. Re: public Ed informs Connecticut residents about the state, local, and federal education policies that impact teaching and learning. New London Parent Advocates updates their open Facebook page weekly with all that is happening in the New London Public Schools.
Fund Education NOW website is full of information and resources for Florida residents who want to keep up with education news. Florida BATs and Broward BATs post the latest updates on how the Florida COVID surge is impacting schools. Go here and here for updates. Pastors for Florida Children exists to provide care to local schools, and to advocate for children by supporting a free public education system that promotes social justice for children, and to advance legislation that enriches FL children, families, and communities. To keep up with what they are doing, go here. To keep up with the advocacy of The Florida Council of Churches visit their website. Opt-Out Florida Network are asking their followers to pay attention to the Florida Senate Committee on Education this year. Pinellas Parents Advocating for Public Schools organizes on a private Facebook page. If you know of anyone in the Pinellas area, have them join to connect. Protect Our Public Schools, Manasota believes that free, quality public education is a right for all children and is necessary for the optimal functioning of a democratic society. To keep up with their movements during the COVID-19 crisis, go here. Miami-Dade County Public School District Parents posted the new COVID 19 protocols for the Miami Schools District. UnitED for Florida Children has a website full of resources and information. Go here to check it out. Hillsborough Public School Advocates has a new website! Be sure to visit it to keep up with all the amazing work they are doing in Florida. Democratic Public Education Caucus of Florida published their first newsletter this month.
Public Education Matters Georgia is a statewide organization committed to fostering community support for quality public education in GA through outreach, information, and advocacy. To keep up with their advocacy go here. Moms and Dads Now Enduring Surrealistic Stupidity (MADNESS) shared this powerful letter about standardized testing from an Athens, GA student. Opt-Out Georgia organized the opt-out movement in Georgia via a closed Facebook group of over 8,000 members. If you live in Georgia or know someone who does, encourage them to connect with this group. The Georgia Chapter of the National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME) was founded in 1990 to bring together individuals from all academic levels and disciplines and from diverse educational institutions and other organizations, occupations, and communities who had an interest in multicultural education. NAME is committed to a philosophy of inclusion that embraces the basic tenets of democracy and cultural pluralism. To keep up with their actions, visit their website. The Georgia Youth Justice Coalition tweeted a powerful campaign to expose GA House Bill 888, which is a classroom censorship bill.
Parents for Public Schools Hawaii published their newsletter, which is full of community information, on their Facebook page in late December. Go here to read it.
Illinois Raise Your Hand and Illinois Families for Public Schools co-hosted a virtual press conference this month called “Trust, Learning, Care” which addressed the safe and equitable reopening of schools.
The Indiana Coalition for Public Education is working hard to defeat HB 1252, which creates a NEW Education Scholarship Account (another form of voucher) for remediation with a fiscal impact of over 1/4 of a billion dollars ($259.3 million). Indiana Coalition for Public Schools – Monroe County spent the month reporting on a curriculum control bill. Go here to learn more. The Northeast Indiana Friends of Public Education has a fantastic blog. Go here to view their stories. The mission of the Northwest Indiana Coalition for Public Education is to advocate for a high quality and equitable public education for every child in NWI. Go here to keep up with what they are working on. Washington Township Parent Council Network hosted a webinar with ICPE’s Joel Hand to recap bills that have passed or are in the process of being heard.
Iowans for Public Education posted that teachers need support, not baseless attacks for political gain. Follow them for updates and action alerts to support teachers and public schools during the 2022 Iowa legislative session.
Game on for Kansas Schools shared that the Kansas 2022 legislative session starts later this month. To kick things off, they shared an explanation of why vouchers (aka “school choice”) are not an effective strategy for improving student achievement. The Personnel Association of Lawrence- Communication Workers of America continue to support their classified staff. View this video for more information.
Dear JCPS hosted a virtual Town Hall this month on school safety. Kentucky Save Our Schools founder Gay Adelman had an article published in the The Northern Kentucky Tribune about two bills that are being passed and how they dismiss the state’s most marginalized students. Pastors for Kentucky Children posted a statement on their Facebook page that they stand in support of their teachers and students to be able to teach, discuss and learn about all our history, even if it makes people uncomfortable. History is how we learn to do better and ignoring it, deleting it, doesn’t change it. Two bills before the Kentucky General Assembly are bad bills that prevent teachers from teaching about religion, race, gender, sex and it reaches all the way up to the college level.
Step Up Louisiana tweeted that in 2021 they won local democracy for Orleans Parish schools AND passed the Fair Chance Hiring Act. This is all in line with their strategic vision that they unveiled last year.
The Baltimore Algebra Project is a youth organization that works to end the school to prison pipeline. To learn more about them go here.
Lisa Guisbond Executive Director of Citizens for Public Schools and Ricardo Rosa co-chair for The New Bedford Coalition to Save our Schools presented on a panel for Our Revolution which discussed education justice.
The Michigan Network for Equity in Education advocates for equitable, democratic public education in the state of Michigan by building coalitions and sharing information and research. To learn more about their work, go here. Be sure to check in with Save Michigan’s Public Schools for the latest in Michigan education news. Michigan Parents for Schools has an extensive website to help Michigan parents and educators. Be sure to check it out here. MI Ed Justice are educators, administrators, parents, students & community members who believe to save our public schools from privatization, we need to humanize our public schools. To learn more about their work go here. Trusted Voices ED advocates extensively for teacher pay on their social media platforms.
Parents for St. Paul Schools is a grassroots organization started by parents of public school students. They are in favor of an immediate moratorium on the expansion and creation of existing charter schools in St. Paul.. To keep up with their work, go here. Minnesota Collective for Educational Equity’s white paper, Pursuing Educational Equity in Minnesota Through a Statewide Multi-Tiered System of Support, is a must-read and share for anyone living, or teaching, in Michigan.
Parents for Public Schools – Moss Point supports their community with information about education, meals, vaccinations, and much more. Parents For Public Schools of Greenwood and Leflore County works on strengthening public schools by engaging, educating, and mobilizing parents in Greenwood and Leflore County. Parents For Public Schools of Philadelphia advocates for children and schools in the Philadelphia Public School District. Make sure you give them a follow on Facebook. Parents For Public Schools of Starkville is a local organization working to strengthen public schools in Starkville. They promote the great work being done in the Starkville Oktibbeha Consolidated School District.
Keep up with the Missouri BATs by giving them a follow on Twitter. Columbia Parents for Public Schools promotes parent engagement to improve education and build public support for public schools in Columbia.
Stand for Schools had some big news to share this month. Their Founder and Executive Director, Ann Hunter-Pirtle, has accepted a new role as an Impact Fellow with the Federation of American Scientists in Washington, D.C. This month, Deputy Director Daniel Russell will step in as Interim Executive Director while their Board of Directors engages in a search process. Nebraska Loves Public Schools celebrated I Love Public Schools Day this month. To view the video go here.
Educate Nevada NOW noted that the State of Nevada argued 60 kids in a 3rd grade classroom is constitutional. Read Educate Nevada Now’s response to that. Northern Nevada Parents and Teachers United was created in 2021 as a response to the growing frustration of parents and teachers about the state of Nevada’s schools. They believe that parents and teachers both want what is best for children, and our schools will only get better when those who work in them are valued and respected. To learn more about their work visit their website.
New Hampshire Leaders for Just Schools are NH public school educators dedicated to the mission of creating more equitable and just learning environments. Give them a follow on Twitter to keep up with what they are doing. Barrington Educators Association is the local chapter of the New Hampshire-NEA. You can view updated work here. To contact them about issues happening in NH, go here.
Save our Schools NJ is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization of more than 37,000 parents and other concerned residents who support public education. To keep up with their actions and events go here. Check out The Newark Students Union events tab on their Facebook page. The posted events provide an excellent template for student organizing. The Delran Education Association mourned the loss of DHS Class of 2022 member Mason Williams. If you are a resident of Elizabeth, ask to join the Elizabeth Parents and Students Care closed Facebook group to connect. Give Montclair Cares About Schools a follow on Facebook to find out what is happening in Montclair education. Give Our Children Our Schools a follow on Twitter to keep up with any future events. South Orange-Maplewood Cares About Schools organizes in its closed Facebook group. If you live in this area or know anyone who does, please join the group here. Paterson Education Fund continues to post important information for Paterson families about virtual learning and onsite COVID testing. Parents Educating Parents joined the network in December. You can learn about them here, here, and here.
Class Size Matters, The Alliance for Quality Education, and The Education Law Center sent a powerful letter to the NYC DOE and NY State Department of Education about their C4E plan. Go here to read that letter. Follow New York Allies for Public Education on their website for the latest news on opting out in New York. LI Opt-Out has had a busy school year trying to help parents navigate the pandemic. To keep up with all they are doing to navigate the school year be sure to visit their public Facebook page. NYC Opt Out launched a survey to educators for them to share their experiences with the newly mandated MAP, Acadience, iReady & DESSA screeners. Give Change the Stakes a follow on Facebook to keep up with what is happening in NYC education during the COVID crisis. NY BATs is the largest state chapter of the Badass Teachers Association, currently over 3,400 educators strong. Head over to their Facebook page to find out what they are working on. Give FUSE (New Rochelle Federation of United School Employees) a follow on Twitter to find out how they will navigate the upcoming school year. MORE-UFT marched this month for school safety and smaller class size. Jackson Heights People for Public Schools has so much information on their discussion Facebook page that you need to head over to see what the community of Jackson Heights is up to. Check it out here. Parents for Public Schools- Syracuse reminded students and parents to show themselves some grace during these difficult times. Croton Advocates for Public Education (CAPE) advocates for fair assessments, enrichment opportunities, and funding for their schools. The Port Washington Advocates for Public Education closed Facebook group is a place to connect and organize if you live in Port Washington, NY. North Country Alliance For Public Education works to end the reliance on high-stakes testing and stop the privatization taking over their schools. If you live in the North Country of New York, consider joining their closed Facebook group to connect. Visit the Rochester Coalition for Public Education website for all that is happening with Rochester education, meeting schedules, and information.
Public Schools First NC and Wake County launched their get the facts on charter schools campaign this month. Carolina Families for School Testing Reform are working together to bring legislative change to the NC Public School Testing. They are advocating for fewer tests, fairer tests, and fruitful tests. Neighbors for Better Neighborhoods hosted a Racial Equity Institute’s Phase 1 Workshop this month. Pastors for North Carolina Children asked their community to take a moment to share some love for teachers, support staff, administrators, Cafeteria workers, and bus drivers. Parents for Public Schools of Pitt County January newsletter has information about Kindergarten 101 and the Act of Kindness Challenge. It also extended a big thank you to ECU School of Social Work for sharing BSW intern Meghan Stello.
Be sure to keep up with the Ohio BATs on their open Facebook page. It Takes A Village To Tackle HB70 and It Takes A Village extended thanks and appreciation to their Board President, Mr. Bill Sturgill this month. Northwest Ohio Friends of Public Education is a citizen-driven, non-partisan movement to inform and engage Northwest Ohioans, at the community level, to support and strengthen public schools. To keep up with the issues they are working on, go here. Parents For Public Schools of Greater Cincinnati post upcoming events on their open Facebook page. Northeast Ohio Friends of Public Education have a fantastic website full of information that is centered around public education in Ohio. Public Education Partners (PEP) launched a very powerful vouchers hurt Ohio campaign this month.
The Oklahoma Parent Legislative Action Committee announced the launch of two new local PLACs this month. Pastors for Oklahoma Children continued their amazing #OklaEd campaign this month. Go here to view it. Oklahoma Parents and Educators for Public Education/Oklahomans for Public Education have a private Facebook group of over 31,000 people. If you live in Oklahoma or know someone who does, share this link to connect. Oklahoma Teachers – The Time Is Now organizes in a private Facebook group of over 64,000 members. The purpose of the group is to unite all educators in Oklahoma to come together and educate, collaborate, and discuss what options they have moving forward to improve Public Education. If you know any Oklahoma educators, send them to this group to connect.
Community Alliance for Public Education (CAPE)’s goal is to raise awareness and build community around public education issues, as well as support an informed citizenry in having input into public education policies and practices. Oregon Save Our Schools continues their work to end annual standardized testing. Oregon BATs organizes in a closed Facebook group. If you are an Oregon teacher or community member, ask to join and connect.
The Keystone State Education Coalition publishes a daily PA education policy roundup. Pennsylvania School Board Association welcomed Edward Brown as the 2022 PSBA Eastern Zone representative this month. The Pittsburgh Task Force on the Right to Education put out a call for Volunteers to help with their Champion Awards event. Education Voters PA held a press conference this month in the PA Capitol Rotunda on how much money cyber charter schools spent on advertising during the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 school year. Alliance for Philadelphia Public Schools continues to keep their eye on the Board of Education and their Gag Policies. Teacher Action Group Wilmington is a member of the Network of Teacher Activist Groups, a national coalition of grassroots teacher organizing groups. They work together to build an education movement for liberation, locally and nationally, through shared analysis, political education, mutual support and learning, and joint projects. BASD (Bethlehem Area School District) Parents continue to share important information on how unfair funding impacts public schools in PA.
The Quality Education Project continues to educate the public on yet another privatization scheme in South Carolina. Go here for more information on the “reimagine” schools initiative.
Give Tennesseans Reclaiming Educational Excellence (TREE) a follow on Twitter to keep up with all that is going on in Tennessee education. Be sure to visit the Pastors for Tennessee Children website. It is full of valuable information and resources. Tennessee Strong continues to share articles written in the Tennessee Education Report. The latest article has educator Ellen Dahlke discuss her experience teaching this year. Tennessee BATs organize out of a closed group on Facebook with over one thousand members. If you are a Tennessee teacher or a supporter of public education in Tennessee, go here and ask to join their Facebook group to connect.
Pastors for Texas Children launched two amazing videos this month. Friday Night Lights and Texas Children are a must watch and share! CFISD Community Leadership Committee are parents, business owners, and community members, partnering with the CFISD and area lawmakers to enable the success of all children in the CFSID community. Members of Texas Kids Can’t Wait are advocates for equitable and adequate funding for Texas public schools and for a sane assessment system. They strongly oppose the corporate takeover of public schools. To follow their advocacy go to their open Facebook page. Check out what RootEd was up to this month in their newsletter. If you know of anyone in the Houston community, please have them connect with Parents For Public Schools of Houston. They do fantastic work in Houston. Community Voices For Public Education is a local group of parents, students, teachers, and community members working to improve public education in Houston. Go here to keep up with their actions and activity. Our Schools San Antonio is a coalition committed to community-driven public education in the San Antonio Independent School District. The Coalition for Equity in Public Education works to uphold democratic community schools by evaluating education policy and communicating findings to the public. Founded in 2017, they have been determined to make an impact for the betterment of local ISDs. To keep up with their work go here. Texas AFT released a statement this month that Gov. Abbott panders to a false narrative on parental rights and has turned his back on addressing the extreme hardships teachers face in Omicron surge. El Paso Alliance for Just Schools streamed a live Accountability Session for TX State Board of Education Candidates this month.
Virginia Educators United is a grassroots collection of pro-public school people who act to support Virginia Public Schools. They organize in a closed Facebook group. If you are a Virginia educator, please ask to join and connect. Virginia BATs also organize in a closed Facebook group. If you are a Virginia educator, parent, or community member, please ask to join and connect. Support Our Schools-Shenandoah County organizes to fight for public education in that region. You can connect here. Virginia Public Education Partners is dedicated to supporting and protecting public education. They work to end school privatization maneuvers that undermine democracy and diminish available resources for public schools. Follow their events and actions here.
WA BATs organizes in a closed Facebook group. Go here to join and connect. Washington’s Paramount Duty is a non-partisan, grassroots group of parents and allies working to compel the state to amply fund basic education and swiftly fulfill its paramount duty. They envision a future where every child has equitable access to an amply funded basic education.
West Virginia United Caucus is a caucus of rank-and-file members dedicated to helping create a more democratic, member-run union, whose purpose is to help empower communities and workers around a common set of ideas. Visit their website to learn more about their work.
The Wisconsin Public Education Network has a new feature on their blog. “Minding the Gaps” is a monthly feature from Dr. Jim Shaw examining educational inequities in Wisconsin. Read the first post here. Schools and Communities United continue to share information for the community on COVID clinics they can access for vaccination. If you live in the Milwaukee community join Parents for Public Schools Milwaukee, students and allies to create a strong, diverse, districtwide network of parent advocates for children and their schools. Working with teachers, the superintendent, city and state officials, they are focused on finding and implementing solutions that will help children receive the high-quality public education they deserve.
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.