June 27, 2019 8:37 pm

Grassroots Education Network- June 2019 Newsletter

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The NPE Grassroots Education Network is a network of over 130 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 send them this link to sign up.

If you have any questions about the NPE Grassroots Education Network please contact Marla Kilfoyle, NPE Grassroots Education Network Liaison at marlakilfoyle@networkforpubliceducation.org

National Organizing

NPE Grassroots Education Network national organizations are on the move for public education.

Defending the Early Years board member Dr. Denisha Jones published a series of blogs on Anji play. To read her material head over to the DEY Blog. Also, don’t forget that DEY will be holding their Early Childhood Summer Organizing Leadership Institute from July 7-10 at the Eaton Hotel, Washington, DC. Register NOW as there are only a few open spots left! In the Public Interest is a national think tank that studies public goods and services. They produce a weekly privatization report, which is a scan of privatization-related news clips organized by sector (Education, Criminal Justice/Immigration, Infrastructure, etc.) that they send out every Monday morning. They also have a weekly newsletter which is an analysis of privatization issues (like private prisons, public-private partnerships, charter schools, etc.) and stories that lift up the value and importance of the common good. You’ll learn something every time. Finally, they produce Cashing in on Kids which is a twice-a-month scan of news clips and analysis tracking the movement to privatize public education. If you would like to receive these items please sign up here.

The Journey for Justice Alliance National Director Jitu Brown was chosen as an AFRE (Atlantic Fellows for Racial Equality) Fellow for 2019. Read about this honor here. Congratulations, Jitu!! Jitu was also featured on Fox News 32 as well as The Damage ReportFairtest offers two freshly updated resources for activists to use in their local campaigns and journalists to reference for their reporting- a chronology of computer testing problems and a history of test design, administration, and scoring failures by Pearson, the world’s largest testing company. Rethinking Schools attended NCORE (National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in American Higher Education) last month and continues to offer amazing education and education justice books on their website. Check out their new social justice planbook for teachers.

The Parent Coalition for Student Privacy celebrated the announcement that the U.S. Department of Education concluded that Eva Moskowitz and Success Academy repeatedly violated a child’s privacy according to FERPA. Parents for Public Schools National- make sure you check out the PPS National monthly newsletter on Flipsnack and keep up with all the great work of their regional groups. Parents Across America published a powerful spotlight on their website by John Harris Loflin, a leader of Parents Across America’s Indianapolis affiliate. The spotlight focused on Parent Power Indianapolis: The hidden influence of Teach for America ideology on education in Indianapolis: A commentary on why Aleesia Johnson must not be Indianapolis Public Schools superintendent. The Schott Foundation launched #PublicSchoolGrad to highlight the positive outcomes from our nation’s public schools and students. The Badass Teachers Association presented at LRAN – Labor Research Action Network in Cleveland, Ohio on June 12th. Their panelUnderstanding the Strike Wave of 18-19 in the Context of Teachers Working Conditions: Implications for Organizing and Mobilizing was a huge success. Trinational Coalition to Defend Public Education (USA) exists in a network with many other organizations in Canada and Mexico. Check out their network hereOntario (Canada) Secondary School Teachers Federation produced a research report on the impact of increases in class size under the Ford government. Wear Red for Ed joined the NPE Grassroots Education Network in May. We are so happy to have them on board. To learn more about their work, go here.

The Network for Public Education would like to remind everyone to SAVE THE DATE for the NPE Action 2020 Conference in Philadelphia. The dates are March 28-29. Also there is a call for panels for the conference. Registration to present a panel will end on July 21st so don’t be left out! To register a panel go here. Finally, check out the updated Another Day Another Charter Scandal on the NPE website.

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! This section is also a place to get great ideas on organizing and actions.


SOS (Save our Schools) attended the Alabama School Boards Association annual meeting. They attended an important meeting on the impact of literacy in Alabama’s schools and left with concerns that lawmakers, who make education policy, have little grasp of the issues that impact children.


Voices for Education have a powerful essay with videos on their website – The Truth about Betsy DeVos. Give it a share! Arizonans for Charter School Accountability issued a powerful report, Unfunded Mandate? Do What The Arizona Department of Education Does: Just Ignore It! last month. Save our Schools Arizona was front and center in the Arizona House for a budget watch and to make sure there were no more voucher shenanigans. They also released a powerful statement on the budget.

Arizona Educators United continued to make their presence known at budget hearings last month. Check out this powerful picture.


California Educators Rising supported educators and activists who attended the CalPERS board meeting to demand they divest from private prisons.


Pueblo Education Coalition held their regular meeting on June 24th. If you live in the Pueblo area, plan on attending their meetings and help support public education in the region.


Fund Education NOW has a robust open Facebook page that is updated with all the latest in the fight for public education in the state. The Broward BATs continue to share the latest on their twitter feed about what is happening in Florida. Make sure, if you are on twitter, that you give them a follow. Opt Out Florida Network stood in solidarity with Florida teacher Shanna Fox, who’s online resignation went viral. Check it out herePastors for Florida Children shared a powerful video of Rev. Joy Jackson (Mt. Olive Primitive Baptist Church) at the Pastors for Florida Children Press Conference in Tallahassee. Rev. Jackson spoke on the resiliency of public education. Florida Council of Churches are working hard and spreading the message that a free, public, high quality education is constitutionally established. Florida BATs joined the network this month. Check out their open Facebook page to keep up with what they are doing in the state. Also please follow them on twitter @FLBATsA.


Public Education Matters Georgia shared a public service announcement for any Georgia school-aged students in need of breakfast and/or lunch this summer. They are directing community members to simply text “FOOD” to 877877 and they will receive a message with the closest location where they can get free summer meals.


Parents for Public Schools Hawaii invited parents to participate in the Hawai‘i DOE plan to achieve excellence and equity.


Illinois Raise Your Hand updates their open Facebook page daily about events going on in Chicago with the new administration led by Mayor Lightfoot. They are also updating about the Benton Harbor School crisis. Illinois Raise Your Hand welcomed a new Executive Director in June. Congratulations to Jianan Shi, the new Executive Director of Raise Your Hand!


Indiana Coalition for Public Schools – Monroe County held a screening of Rise Above the Mark: Stand up for Public Education on June 23rdIndiana Coalition for Public Education continues to share out events and news from Indiana and their coalition partners in Indiana. The Northeast Indiana Friends of Public Education is keeping the community up-to-date on the search for a new Superintendent in the Fort Wayne Community Schools. Northwest Indiana Coalition for Public Education is hosting a Sip Red for Public Ed social on July 17th. To learn more about this event go here.


Game On for Kansas Schools posted information on the Kansas Supreme Court ruling that the legislature substantially complied with its Gannon VI mandate for school funding.


Kentucky SOS’s comprehensive website lets everyone keep up with what is happening in the state and their fight for public education. Dear JCPS hosted Open Mic night on May 28th. They invited speakers to demand JCPS Superintendent and the Board of Education address racial equity. Pastors for Kentucky Children continue their important work in the state to support children, teachers, and community members. To read their mission and support their work go here.


The Baltimore Algebra Project attended the We Choose Coalition 65th Anniversary of Brown vs. Board of Education event in Washington D.C.


Citizens for Public Schools co-hosted an event – Phone Banking Party to Fund our Future on June 20th. The New Bedford Coalition to Save our Schools hosted their monthly meeting on June 22nd.


The Michigan Network for Equity in Education has posted all the latest news about what is happening in Benton Harbor. Go to their open Facebook page to follow the story and support their work.


Parents for Public Schools – Moss Point proudly support summer reading programs and celebrated the $75,000 grant that Moss Point received to boost their K-3 summer reading program. Go here to see all the amazing summer programs they highlight for children.


Missouri BATs supported Education Advocates in making sure that the will of the voters in Missouri was upheld. To read more about this action go here.


Stand for Schools has an excellent FAQ section on their website about all the issues that they fight to protect public schools in the state. If you know anyone in Nebraska, please direct them here to learn how they can join the fight to save public education in Nebraska. Nebraska Loves Public Schools created an amazing School’s Out Playlist. Take a look and share it out!


Educate Nevada NOW continues to push for funding for K-12 education in the state of Nevada. They produced an informative flyer to explain the funding issues. This is a great template for others to use. To view this flyer go here.

New Jersey

Save our Schools NJ reported very good news for New Jersey students and families. The Education Law Center and the Murphy Administration reached an agreement that the graduation testing options available for the classes of 2019 and 2020 also should be available for the classes of 2021 and 2022. They reported that on June 5th the N.J. Appellate Court agreed to extend the high school graduation testing requirements in place for the Class of 2019 and 2020 to the Class of 2021 and 2022. The Newark Students Union called on Newark students to attend the Student Representative Debates for the student representative position on the Newark Board of Education.

New York

Class Size Matters, The Alliance for Quality Education, and nine NYC parents filed an appealin their class size lawsuit to require NYC Department of Education to lower class size in all grades. Class Size Matters also co-sponsored, with NPE, a rally for class size and education equity on the steps of City Hall in NYC on June 11th. See all the amazing pictures hereNYSAPE, NYC Opt Out, LI Opt Out, and Change the Stakes continue to fight in coalition to get an opt out bill passed in NY state. Read more about this work hereNY BATs member Eve Shippens spearheaded a district initiative in Buffalo, New York to address teacher trauma. See this powerful article about her work. FUSE (New Rochelle Federation of United School Employees) provides educators with important information about evaluations and how they can take action on their website. ECE Policy Works traveled to China in May to attend the 1st Annual True Play Conference. Denisha Jones is publishing a five part series about their trip. The Alliance for Quality Education (AQE) NY continue to expose the impact of mass suspensions on students. AQE found that NYS students lost 686,000 days of instruction to suspension in the 2015-16 school year, often for minor misbehavior. Students who miss 20 days or more in a single year have a dramatically reduced chance of graduation. MORE Caucus held an organizational meeting on June 15th. They held a book read of No Shortcuts and continuing to support the work of anti-bias and culturally responsive curriculum in NYC schools. Jackson Heights People for Public Schools share information from across NYC on topics such as integration of schools, Gifted and Talented programs, and supporting the work of student activists in NYC. To learn more go hereParents for Public Schools- Syracuse member and parent Samantha Pierce was chosen to sit on the new Trauma and Resilience Advisory Committee.

North Carolina

Public Schools First NC has an incredible website full of resources for anyone living in the state. Please invite any of your friends/family who live in North Carolina to check it out. Parents for Public Schools of Pitt County had a very busy May. They had a successful fundraiser at Jersey Mike’s and also were successful in advocating for a strong school budget. To read more about their work go hereNorth Carolina Families for School Testing Reform had their call to action featured in the Doc Carter podcast. Take a listen.


Ohio BATs enjoyed an evening with four of their state legislators chatting about students, teachers and public education. To view the photos go herePublic Education Partners (PEP)called on all their members to join them at BASA on June 19 to talk school finance. Jeanne Melvin of Public Education Partners had a powerful Letter to the Editor published – Ohio is in danger of replacing one bad school takeover law with anotherIt Takes A Village To Tackle HB70 continues to fight the failure of state takeovers. They encourage community members to go to meetings to fight this awful policy.


Oklahoma Pastors for Kids celebrated the defeat of the Education Tax Credit ( a voucher program) and a $157.9 million budget for public education. Oklahoma Parent Legislative Action Committee will be holding an advocacy summit on July 27th. If you know anyone in Oklahoma who wants to advocate for public education, tell them to attend this summit. Information is here. You must be registered by July 22nd. Oklahoma Parents and Educators for Public Education & Oklahomans for Public Education continue to do an abundance of work across Oklahoma – highlighting the OKCity Crisis Nursery, promoting Deaf Education, and sharing their photos from the Cooperative Council for Oklahoma School Administrators. To see all their initiatives go here.


The Community Alliance for Public Education (CAPE) hold monthly Beer and Blab meetings so that community members can come out to connect and talk about ways they can support public education! A great idea to get the community out.

Oregon Save our Schools attended a rally on May 8th with over 300 faculty, students, classified staff, administrators, and Board members at Lane Community College. Read about this event hereOregon BATs have an active twitter feed full of issues that they are working on. Make sure you give them a follow if you live in Oregon and share with any friends/family who live in Oregon.


The Keystone State Education Coalition was involved in a Press Conference on June 11th in the East Wing Rotunda of the Capitol. The Press Conference addressed cyber charter funding reform. Pittsburgh Task Force on the Right to Education held a meeting with the Superintendent of Pittsburgh Public School Dr. Anthony Hamlet on May 28th. We will have more information on this meeting in our next newsletter. They also celebrated the hard fought victory of their PASS co-chair Pam Harbin who won in the election for School Board Director.

Rhode Island

Providence Student Union welcomed new Organizing Director Precious Lopez. To learn more about Precious go here.

South Carolina

The Quality Education Project hosted a social and networking event on June 22nd. The topic was discussing dark money in CCSD. We will have an update on this event in our next newsletter.


The Momma Bears exposed some shady dealings regarding the passage of the voucher bill in Tennessee last month. Read about that herePastors for Tennessee Children founding member Brad Fiscus was featured in a segment of the Public News Service. He discusses how school voucher programs have ended up funneling millions of dollars in taxpayer money away from public schools.


Pastors for Texas Children continues to work hard to connect school leaders with local church leaders in support of public education. On June 30th they met with Little Elm, Texas pastors at New Hope Community Church and Little Elm school leaders. They were also featured in the Fort Worth Weekly for their powerful work this legislative season. CFSID Community Leadership Committee fought hard to eliminate linking the STARR tests results to funding. CFSID Community Leadership Committee stated “it does not seem right to add to the number of tests or to add $100M to the STAAR test contractor.” Go here to see more information. The Coalition for Public Schools Texas was founded in 1995. The Coalition for Public Schools is composed of religious, child advocacy, and education organizations representing more than 3,000,000 Texans statewide. If you know someone who lives in Texas, please send them to their website and ask them to support any of the groups in the coalition! Texas Kids Can’t Wait were highlighted in a blog post by Larry Lee of Education Matters as one of the organizations working for public education in Texas.


Virginia Educators United and Virginia BATs met Sara Nelson, International President of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, AFL-CIO at the LRAN Conference last month. VA Educators United and VA BATs continue to expose Broad Academy Superintendents hired in their area.

Washington State

WA BATs are gearing up to go to the NEA Representative Assembly from July 2 to July 8th in Houston, TX. Make sure you follow @WABATs_ and @NEABATCaucus twitter feeds during those dates to keep up-to-date with what is happening at NEA RA. Washington Paramount Dutycelebrated education funding with a great photo op with Gov. Inslee.

Washington D.C.

First Focus on Children initiated a letter campaign urging Congress to block the administration proposal to adjust the poverty measure. First Focus on Children feels that this proposal could underestimate the number of children and families living in poverty and could jeopardize their eligibility for programs that support healthy child development. They also held a Spotlight on Child Poverty event this month with discussion on how we can end child poverty.


Wisconsin Education Network had a very busy May and are involved in an even busier June. They trained over 450 people at a regional Budget Action Workshops to present effective testimony on the state budget. The Wisconsin Education Network wants the NPE Grassroots Education Network to know that while Wisconsin only reimburses a pitiful 25% of special education costs for public schools, students who attend a private school on a voucher in Wisconsin are entitled to nearly 100% reimbursement of any costs above the voucher amount. Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers recommended eliminating that disparity and repealing the dangerous and unaccountable “special needs voucher” program but that provision, and all other measures to hold publicly funded, privately operated schools accountable, were removed from the budget. To secure more education funding the Wisconsin Education Network walked 60 miles to Madison to Stand up for Kids. To read more about this event go hereSchools and Communities United rescheduled their general meeting to July 9th. SCU posted some great video about the 60 mile walk for education funding. Parents for Public Schools Milwaukeeoffered community members transportation to the Stand Up for Kids rally in Madison. We will have pictures of this amazing event in our next newsletter!

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.