Grassroots Education Network- July 2021 Newsletter
The NPE Grassroots Education Network is a network of 170 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 on.
If you have any questions about the NPE Grassroots Education Network please contact Marla Kilfoyle, NPE Grassroots Education Network Liaison at email@example.com
Notes from Marla
NPE Action/NPE Conference will be live in Philadelphia! NPE is delighted that at last we will hold our conference in Philadelphia that was delayed due to the pandemic. If you registered and did not request a refund, you are still registered. If you would like to register, you can do so here. In either case, be sure to reserve your hotel room at the discounted rate of $169 for Friday and Saturday night. Don’t wait. Rooms are going fast. See you October 23 and 24.
Network for Public Education is proud to announce that 63 organizations signed onto a letter to Sec. Cardona about the white flight academies in North Carolina. To read that letter go here. Defending the Early Years Summer Institute was another success. DEY extended their thanks to all the panelists and keynotes. In the Public Interest’s weekly newsletter is one that you must share. Go here to access their weekly pieces on all things public. The Journey for Justice Alliance National Director Jitu Brown will appear as a panelist at the Global Women of Hearts Conference. Jitu will be on the panel Empowering Positive Fatherhood and Manhood: What’s the measure of a man? Go here for more information. Head over to The Schott Foundation Facebook page to view their Billions at Stake campaign videos. Fairtest publishes a weekly testing resistance and reform news. Go here to access their weekly round-up.
Rethinking Schools shared valuable resources, reviewed by Rethinking Schools editors and Teaching for Change colleagues for the spring issue of Rethinking Schools magazine. The Parent Coalition for Student Privacy announced that the Federal Trade Commission would elicit public comment each month. Go here for more information. Parents for Public Schools published Why Public Education is Essential to Our Democracy this month on their blog. Parents Across America has a public Facebook page that is great for interacting with others from across the nation about public education issues. Go here to join in the conversation.
The Badass Teachers Association (BATs) announced their June BAT Action Awards. 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 are holding a webinar next month (July 12) called “Advocating for your Transitioning/Transgender Child in Public Schools.” For more information 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) works to create a public education system that is equitable, democratic, humane, and nurturing. Go to their website to see what they are working on this month. First Focus Campaign for Children published their children’s agenda for 2021 this month. 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 are publishing useful activities on their Facebook page for children and families to do over the summer. Fairplay (formerly known as Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood) are excited to announce that José González of Latino Outdoors is joining Richard Louv and Sharon Danks for their upcoming Action Network Live event. Join them on July 20th at 7 PM ET (4 PM PT). To register go here.
Equal Opportunity Schools #StudentSpotlight on twitter is an amazing way that they celebrate the accomplishments of youth. Head over to twitter and check it out. When Public Schools Reopen found that Connecticut (2015), New Jersey (2016), Maryland (2017), Ohio (2017), Texas (2017), Colorado (2019), Vermont (2021), and Maine (2021) have passed laws that prohibit the use of suspensions for our youngest learners, except for offenses that endanger the health and safety of others. What are you doing to end school suspensions in your state? To work on this issue, go to their closed Facebook group and ask to join. When Public Schools Reopen also hosted a special event this month called Killing Curiosity: Conversations on Learning with Luz Olid and David Caballero. Killing Curiosity explores how we learn with educators, parents and youth from Spain, Sweden, Mexico, Israel, India, Myanmar, Taiwan, and Singapore. The full documentary will be released in 2022. 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. National Educators United held an event this month on pandemic organizing and how teachers can organize for next school year. Here is the video from that Town Hall.
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) shared information about the Phalen Leadership Academy who has been hired by the Montgomery Education Foundation to manage their conversion charter school located in the Montgomery School System.
Grassroots Arkansas celebrated this month because the Little Rock School District is free from state control. Grassroots Arkansas also put out a call for community members to give input on the Safe Routes to Schools Plan. Safe Routes to Schools will create more equity and upward mobility. The city needs diverse community voices to inform that plan.
Voices for Education continues to provide updates on how Gov. Ducey is charging ahead with underfunding Arizona public schools and pushing school choice issues. Be sure to visit Arizonans for Charter School Accountability website offers resources that compare charter school and public school spending. Save Our Schools Arizona issued a statement on the 2021 budget, which robs Arizona schools and fails Arizona’s children. Arizona Educators United shared that the Teacher Caucus in the Arizona legislature voted no to ESA.
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. Parents Supporting Teachers said goodbye to L.A. Schools Superintendent Austin Beutner in this statement.
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 posted a statement on Initiative 25 (public school voucher scheme) late last month.
Connecticut Public Schools Advocates Children are Connecticut families and educators advocating for safe, equitable, fully funded public schools. Please follow their activity here. Children Are More Than Test Scores founder Jesse Turner published a powerful essay this month on critical race theory. 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 are keeping their Facebook followers updated on the state legislature ban to teach critical race theory. Florida BATs and Broward BATs continue to inform the public about all that is happening with Florida education. Go here and here for updates. Be sure to visit Pastors for Florida Children advocates in the news. Also PFC published their Bi-Annual report this month. Go here to read it. Florida Council of Churches shared a powerful statement by Rev. Russell Meyer about telling stories of our shared future that celebrates diversity. Opt-Out Florida Network posted tools and resources that opt-out parents can use when threatened with remediation and poor class placement. Pinellas Parents Advocating for School Improvements 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 are helping to guide parents who want to learn more about iReady or have questions. Parents can ask the experts at the M-DCPS Synergy 2021 Parents iReady session on Friday, July 23rd. (English 10am/Spanish 1pm). UnitED for Florida Children are parents, teachers, students, school administrators, school board members, and superintendents across the state who are unhappy with what is happening in Florida’s public school classrooms. Education reform efforts led by politicians have changed the learning environment, removing autonomy, flexibility, and creativity and replacing it with poorly implemented and untested standards and high stakes tests. To connect with this amazing Florida group, go here. Hillsborough Public School Advocates continue to support their school board who are under pressure from the state education commissioner to renew charters despite poor academic standing, violations of federal law and other issues. You can read about this issue here.
If you live in Georgia or know someone who does, make sure they connect with Public Education Matters Georgia. Moms and Dads Now Enduring Surrealistic Stupidity (MADNESS) has a vibrant public Facebook group that discusses how education in Georgia is going during the COVID crisis. If you are interested, here is the link to that public group. 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 movements, visit their website.
Parents for Public Schools Hawaii now has a monthly newsletter. Check out their June newsletter here.
Illinois Raise Your Hand advocacy work this month has been focused on making sure families have meals this summer. Illinois Families for Public Schools Executive Director Cassie Creswell was on the Advocacy Talk and Play with Pasi Sahlberg and William Doyle at the Defending the Early Years Summer Institute this month.
The Indiana Coalition for Public Education posted the recorded version of the ICPE webinar with the authors of A Wolf at the Schoolhouse Door. Indiana Coalition for Public Schools – Monroe County has a podcast that you can listen to. It will help Indiana citizens keep up with all the important issues in Indiana education. The Northeast Indiana Friends of Public Education posts their most popular Facebook posts weekly. Go here for a sample! Northwest Indiana Coalition for Public Education advocates for a high quality and equitable public education for every child in NWI. To keep up with the issues they are working on, go here. Washington Township Parent Council Network helped to honor the life and legacy of Washington Township Athletics Director Paul Loggan.
Iowans for Public Education member Randy Richardson wrote a powerful article on why teachers are too burned out to teach summer school.
Game on for Kansas Schools posted the following on their Facebook page about equity and diversity.
Dear JCPS noted who is behind disruption in the JCPS work sessions. Read more here. Kentucky SOS is a grassroots stakeholder advocacy group dedicated to raising awareness of impending actions and legislation that could impact Kentucky public schools. They are building a unified front to protect Kentucky public schools from attacks by privatizers and billionaires. Pastors for Kentucky Children posted a letter by their Commissioner of Education on two prefiled bills regarding CRT. The letter can be found here.
Step Up Louisiana joined city workers and city contract workers this month in their fight for $15 in New Orleans. Step Up Louisiana also had a table at the NOLA Zydeco Festival this month. They gave out information about their organization and their ongoing campaigns. This is an excellent, and fun, organizing idea for summer.
The Baltimore Algebra Project works hard to end the school to prison pipeline. To learn more about them go here.
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. Save Michigan’s Public Schools provided a fantastic summary of the Michigan budget this month. Michigan Parents for Schools has an extensive website to help Michigan parents and educators. Be sure to check it out here. MI Ed Justice issued an action alert late last month to stop the Highland Park School district (inside Detroit) from authorizing Ace Academy as a charter school, which is a strict discipline academy for detainees of the criminal justice system. To read more on this issue and to take action go here. Trusted Voices ED tweeted that at the beginning of this month the Senate passed the FY22 School Aid Budget. The biggest news is after more than 25 years, the gap between the state minimum and state maximum foundation allowance is CLOSED! The new foundation allowance will be $8,700. Trusted Voices ED appreciates our Michigan legislators for making this happen!
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 is still hosting Early Childhood Development programs for their community. They have been doing this since March. For more information on their programs, go here. 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 is a Nebraska-based nonprofit dedicated to the state’s ongoing tradition of public school excellence. They support policies that will further strengthen public schools and allow every Nebraskan to develop the skills they need to thrive. To keep up with all the news about Nebraska public education visit them on Facebook. Nebraska Loves Public Schools latest documentary highlights the North Bend community. Following the unprecedented floods of 2019, the North Bend community found a constant source of support – its public school. Nebraska Loves Public Schools’ latest film documents the flood and recovery efforts, Rising Above, is available here.
Educate Nevada NOW provided a summary of K-12 funding during the 81st Nevada Legislative Session. 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 joined the network this month. We are so honored to begin working with them. To follow their work go here, and here. 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 shared a call to action this month regarding new high school graduation regulations and the need for public comment. Be sure to check it 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 is a local organization committed to ensuring excellence in public education. Give them a follow on Facebook. 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 thanked the Geraldine R. Dodge foundation for supporting their work.
Class Size Matters held a rally late last month for small class sizes. Follow New York Allies for Public Education on their website for opt-out numbers in New York at the end of the pandemic school year. LI Opt-Out had a busy school year trying to help parents navigate the pandemic. To keep up with all they are doing be sure to visit their public Facebook page. NYC Opt Out has a vibrant public Facebook page that is keeping up with all the information on the NYC Mayor’s race. Go here to view that page. The Alliance for Quality Education congratulated their Advocacy Director Zakiyah Ansari for being named one of Brooklyn’s 50 most fascinating people. 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 posted a video late last month that showed UFT members fighting against privatized Medicare which will raise costs and may force retirees to switch doctors. 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 Fireside Chat Friday late last month was a discussion with education advocate Talina Jones about how the Syracuse City School District needs to evolve. 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 will be releasing information about their upcoming conference which will focus on the impact of privatizing public schools. The conference will feature great guests like Noliwe Rooks. Stay tuned! North Carolina Families for School Testing Reform posted a sample refusal letter on their Facebook page in May. As students head into school this fall, please use it to refuse testing that will be used as a weapon against students, teachers, and schools. Neighbors for Better Neighborhoods is now accepting applications for the Grassroots Grant Program. Should you have any additional questions or concerns please feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org. NBN also saluted Resident Leader Kimberlee McNeil this month for being highlighted in the Winston-Salem Chronicle for her outstanding work of community engagement and organizing. Pastors for North Carolina Children launched an action alert early this month about the NC budget. They also published their Bi-Annual report here. Parents for Public Schools of Pitt County are partnering with Pitt County Schools and Suddenlink Communications to “Stuff the Bus” with school supplies for children this coming school year.
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 were mentioned in the Morning Journal for their work connecting community members by using social media. To read more go here. 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 an open Facebook page you can follow for news that is happening in northeast Ohio education. Public Education Partners (PEP) posted information about Ohio being the leader in School Choice options and support for private schools. Read more here.
The Oklahoma Parent Legislative Action Committee held their summer workshop this month. Pastors for Oklahoma Children launched a powerful graphic campaign this month rooted in the idea that Christians have a moral obligation to support, strengthen, and reform public schools. 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) is sponsored by a coalition of community members, parents, teachers from Bethel, Eugene, and Springfield, and professors from Pacific University and the UO. To find out what they are working on go here. Oregon Save Our Schools shared the news last month that Oregon is considering a suspension of testing requirements for graduation. 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 VideoEDition this month focused on learning about considerations for schools when using ESSER funds to hire professional personnel. They also discussed the status of bipartisan charter funding reform and why it’s crucial to maintain the momentum. The Pittsburgh Task Force on the Right to Education let their community know that if they need assistance over the summer LTF is still available so reach out via the information posted here. Education Voters PA Executive Director Susan Spicka was a guest on a webinar this month held by Education Law Center PA to discuss education equity in Pennsylvania. Alliance for Philadelphia Public Schools latest blog addresses the fact that the school board must address Hite’s incompetence. 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. If you know anyone in the Bethlehem Area School District, be sure to contact the BASD (Bethlehem Area School District) Parents. They are a fantastic group fighting for children and public schools in the area. Here they post information for parents about a webinar that will address education beyond COVID.
The Providence Student Union has joined the Providence Alliance for Student Safety in calling for Police Free Schools. Go here to learn more. To keep up with what is happening in Rhode Island, give the Parents Across Rhode Island Facebook page a follow.
Quality Education Project’s are encouraging South Carolina citizens to attend local forums to discuss how federal funds will be spent to advance equity in public schools.
The Momma Bears have a fantastic blog that covers all issues surrounding Tennessee education. Give Tennesseans Reclaiming Educational Excellence (TREE) a follow on Twitter to keep up with all that is going on in Tennessee education. Pastors for Tennessee Children honored the memory of two individuals who were instrumental in founding Pastors for Tennessee Children, Diana Page and Charles Sumner this month. To read their tributes go here. Tennessee Strong continues to share articles written in the Tennessee Education Report. The latest article highlights how Williamsport parents are speaking out for inclusion and diversity. 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.
Rev. Charles Foster Johnson, Director of Pastors for Texas Children and the national Pastors for Children, was interviewed by Public Funds for Public Schools this month. CFISD Community Leadership Committee posted a great video about school registration that highlights the power of public education. 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. RootEd publishes a monthly newsletter called The Branch. Go here to view their newsletter from May. 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 the Houston area. Community Voices For Public Education thanked Shilpa Sarang and Daniel Santos, for speaking out this month at the SB3 public hearing to oppose classroom censorship. SB 3 strips out most mentions of women and people of color from the social studies curriculum. It also removes the requirement to teach “the history of white supremacy, including but not limited to the institution of slavery, the eugenics movement, and the Ku Klux Klan. While it does not forbid these teachings, it will have a chilling effect in our schools. 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 posted in support of Section 314 this month. Section 314 would ban for-profit charters from getting federal CSP money. This month, Texas AFT President Zeph Capo testified against SB2 and SB32, two discriminatory anti-trans student bills. To view his testimony go here.
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 updates here.
WA BATs has an active Twitter feed full of powerful graphics. Check it out here. For more than five years 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 are 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 issued a press release this month summarizing how the Wisconsin budget fails children. You can read it here. Schools and Communities United shared information about pop-up COVID vaccination clinics this month. Parents for Public Schools Milwaukee are encouraging members of their community to complete this survey that gives input on the American Rescue Plan.
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.