Grassroots Education Network- March 2021 Newsletter
The NPE Grassroots Education Network is a network of over 165 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes from Marla
In this newsletter, you will see a general theme of many organizations fighting both voucher and charter expansion legislation. As you read through this newsletter, please share action alerts from those organizations issuing them to engage people to stop this assault of public education. Some states to focus on are Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, and North Carolina. Our organizations need your network help and reach out to anyone living in these states to join the fight for public education.
The other theme you will see is that organizations are leading test refusal movements across the country. Sec. Cardona has stated that the testing mandate will not be cancelled. Please make sure to follow FairTest for assistance in state testing waivers. Opt-Out information is available from various organizations in this network: LI Opt-Out, NYSAPE, NYC Opt-Out, Opt-Out Florida Network, Opt-Out Georgia, United to Save Our Schools, Oregon Save Our Schools, and Our Schools San Antonio. If you need to be connected to anything opt-out related, please email me at email@example.com.
Network for Public Education released their latest report, Chartered for Profit: The Hidden World of Charter Schools Operated for Financial Gain, this month. The report focuses on the world of charter schools run for profit, a world both hidden and misunderstood. This report exposes how both large and small for-profit companies evade state laws that make for-profit charter schools illegal by using related entities and a nonprofit front. We explain and provide examples of how for-profit owners maximize their profits through self-dealing, excessive fees, real estate transactions, and under-serving students who need the most expensive services. The report also features some great visuals like an interactive map which shows the distribution of over 1,100 charter schools run for profit in twenty-six states and the District of Columbia. It also has two LilSis maps that show interwoven corporate relationships. This month many organizations in the NPE Grassroots Education Network launched successful campaigns to call on the US Department of Education Secretary Dr. Cardona to #CancelTheTests. The campaigns were so successful that they had to shut down the switchboard lines to the White House and the USDOE. To read more on that, go here. Defending the Early Years monthly blog is out. This month, Dr. Denisha Jones, Esq. discusses why early childhood education is going to save the world. Don’t miss this issue, and sign-up if you want their blog delivered directly to your inbox. In the Public Interest’s newsletter, Charter Schools Are Failing Homeless Students at Jaw-Dropping Rates is a must-read and share. The Journey for Justice Alliance will be launching their #timeforsomeaction campaign very soon. In their pre-launch campaign, they ask, “What happens when the overlooked unite and demand just as much if not more than what those who benefit from oppression are willing to give? What if we don’t want a seat at the table? What if we want to own the table and the chairs?” #timeforsomeaction Stay tuned.. #Equityorelse.” To read more on this, go here. The Schott Foundation published its Inside Philanthropy report this month. They found that just 0.8% of education philanthropy dollars were directed to racial justice from 2017 to 2019. To read their new report, go here. Fairtest has been very, very busy the last few months with the “cancel the tests” movement. FairTest noted on their Facebook page that “a letter from the Biden Administration’s Department of Education asserting that it will reject waivers seeking cancellation of all spring 2021 federally mandated testing, which ten states had already requested, unleashed a storm of protest from parents, teachers and community leaders, as well as top local and state policymakers. One measure of the overwhelmingly negative response: visits to FairTest’s online guide to opting out from standardized exams more than quintupled in the days following the USDOE announcement.” Rethinking Schools released a new book last month. Teacher Unions and Social Justice: Organizing for the Schools and Communities Our Students Deserve. It is an anthology of 50+ articles by educators, activists & historians, and a must-read! The Parent Coalition for Student Privacy published a powerful article on their website that every parent must read about ways to determine what ed-tech companies are collecting from your child’s data. Parents for Public Schools did a series of powerful graphics and stories for Black History Month. Please head over to their open Facebook page to view them. They begin here and scroll up the page for the month. 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.
Each month The Badass Teachers Association (BATs) hands out BAT Action Awards to individuals and groups around the country who stand up and speak out. Here are the BAT Action Award winners for March. 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 was proud to support the Toronto Youth Cabinet’s effort to make Ontario’s publicly funded education system stronger and more equitable. Wear Red for Ed has an active open Facebook page that tracks the Red for Ed movement nationwide. It is also tracking education issues that are surfacing due to the shutdown of our schools. Uniting to Save Our Schools (USOS) joined in coalition with other organizations in a campaign to #CancelTheTests and educate families about refusing the test. To see that campaign go here. First Focus Campaign for Children noted some huge news on March 3rd. “Let’s be clear — the mere existence of the rule has served as a scare tactic and has caused thousands of children and families to avoid health insurance, food assistance, and other life-sustaining programs, including during the pandemic when families need assistance most. We look forward to seeing the government rescind the rule in its entirety and take further steps to rebuild trust with immigrant families and support them in enrolling in programs for which they are eligible.” Kinderchat continues to host its popular Twitter chat every Monday night at 9 PM EST. The chats are informative and provide great resources for teaching kindergartners during school closures. Check them out on Twitter at #Kinderchat. Kinderchat also has a fantastic website full of resources. Instituto Nueva Escuela celebrated International Women’s Day with a YOU CAN campaign. They let it be known that you can achieve every dream and goal you set out to accomplish. On International Women’s Day, they shared women who said, ” I can ” and highlighted their contribution to the world and the country. #MesDeLaMujer #yopuedo. Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood reported that this year, almost every school in the U.S. has online learning as a part of its menu. Unfortunately, some platforms have taken advantage of families during the pandemic, exploiting parents’ desire to provide the best possible education for their children during this difficult time. Prodigy, a math game used by millions of students, parents, and teachers across the globe, is one of those platforms. Last month, Campaign for Commercial-Free Childhood filed a Federal Trade Commission complaint against Prodigy. Their complaint details how the game worms its way into schools by claiming to be “free forever” while actually putting relentless pressure on kids to nag their parents for an expensive Prodigy membership. In doing so, Prodigy commercializes education and amplifies inequities between students whose families can and cannot afford a premium membership… all while capitalizing on the pandemic. To help spread the word, CCFC created a website featuring 7 Reasons to Say No to Prodigy to help educators, families, and administrators to uncover the truth about Prodigy and work to get it out of our schools. The page also includes letter templates, social media shares, and more. Learn more here. Join Equal Opportunity Schools virtually in March as they host Education Equity Convenings. Select a convenient time to learn how a partnership furthers your district’s pursuit of educational equity for underserved students. Register at this link. When Public Schools Reopen is running two Study Groups for the book Black Lives Matter at School, edited by Denisha Jones and Jesse Hagopian, four of its Administrators are also co-presenting a Keynote presentation at the AEROx Conference on February 13th. 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 from Canada. National Educators United hosted Fight Back Friday this month. The actions were centered on standardized testing’s racial inequity.
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 that 2020 teacher retirements in Alabama will be the highest in decades.
Read Grassroots Arkansas’s statement on reopening schools in Little Rock. If you know anyone in that area, make sure to share it with them as well.
Voices for Education shared the following: “March 4th was a bad day and could go down as the beginning of the end of Arizona public education if we do not draw the line, right here, right now.” Arizonans for Charter School Accountability reported that BASIS Schools in Arizona went another $2 million in the hole according to their 2020 audit, posting over $56 million in red ink – the highest negative assets of any charter company in Arizona. To read more on this issue, go here. Save Our Schools Arizona and Arizona Educators United wrote an open letter to Speaker Bowers and Members of the Arizona House of Representatives about bills that would defund and devalue public education. Arizona Educators United also held a Motor March to the Capitol this month.
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 had its monthly meeting in late February. They reported that “it was powerful to be with our members and to hear the testimonies of our members who ran successful grassroots campaigns for office in the last election. Our presenters were Carolyn Torres, who has won two campaigns for Santa Ana USD Board — Daisy Lomeli, who won a Cudahy City Council seat — and Brian Tabatabai, West Covina City Councilmember. What do they have in common? They are ARE Los Angeles members, they are NOT career politicians, and they are dedicated to the sometimes uncomfortable scenarios to do what is right for the community, no matter the pressure to acquiesce.” To view that meeting, go here. Check out Bay Area Collective Keeping Privatizers Away from Community Schools (BACKPACS) on Facebook to keep up with all their movements in fighting back the Bay Area’s charter lobby. Educators for Democratic Schools-Oakland open Facebook page report on all that is happening in the Oakland Unified School District!
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 joined the network this month. To follow their movements, go here.
Connecticut Public Schools Advocates Children are Connecticut families and educators advocating for safe, equitable, fully funded public schools. Please follow their activity here. Are More Than Test Scores have conducted live readings of various books for children through the pandemic. Here is Jesse Turner reading “Rachel Hears A Song” this month. 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 shared that Sue Woltanksi, a mom of public school kids and a Monroe County School Board member who blogs at Accountabaloney, testified in the Senate Appropriations Committee against SB 48 this month. You can read her powerful testimony here. Florida BATs and Broward BATs continue to inform the public about all that is happening with Florida education. Go here and here to keep up with their information. Pastors for Florida Children representatives attended the FL Senate Appropriations Committee this month to speak in opposition to Senate Bill 48. Florida Council of Churches faith leaders held a panel in late February on the opening of the 2021 legislative session. They called on the legislature to seek the sweet spot where all Floridians thrive, using their freedom to serve those in need and implementing the Golden Rule in their lawmaking. Learn about five critical areas of concern: education, healthcare, employment, home rule, and civic participation in this 35-minute video. Opt-Out Florida Network updated their opt-out toolbox, guide, and pocket guide for refusing the test this month. They are excellent resources that anyone can take and use for their needs. 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. There is so much going on in Florida and Miami. Be sure to check in with Miami-Dade County Public School District Parents who post important information about the state and county daily on their open Facebook page. UnitED for Florida Children issued a Call to Action last month for residents to join the movement to voice concerns over standardized testing, especially this year! There is no way to measure a student’s progress fairly during this year’s flawed school reopening with students learning both in person and virtually in Florida. “Schools should be a place of solace for students, both now and in non-pandemic times. Stressful, high-stakes tests have no place in a positive learning environment, especially during a pandemic. This is why many parents, teachers, and grassroots groups across the state are calling for the FSA to be canceled this year.” They asked all Floridians to add their voice to the movement! If you live in Florida or know someone who does, please continue to share this action.
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 published a school reopening guide, opinions, and discussions document on their website. It is a valuable resource for parents in Hawaii.
Illinois Raise Your Hand held two workshops this month on how educators and citizens can disrupt the school to prison pipeline. We hope to have those workshop videos in our next newsletter. Illinois Families for Public Schools were happy to announce this month that their Right to Play bill (SB654) has been filed! They also requested Illinois citizens weigh in using witness slips on four bills that were being heard in the Illinois House education committee. To read more on that, go here.
The Indiana Coalition for Public Education, Indiana Coalition for Public Schools – Monroe County, The Northeast Indiana Friends of Public Education, and the Northwest Indiana Coalition for Public Education co-sponsored the release of a new documentary Indiana’s Choice. Indiana’s Choice brings forward the voices of teachers, students, administrators, and parents to examine how school choice enables segregation of students and discrimination against students, families, and school employees. All of our Indiana groups are also fighting off some strong privatization bills. To learn more, and to help, go here. Washington Township Parent Council Network hosts a Five Dollar Friday where they help an educator each Friday serve children. Go here for a look at Five Dollar Friday.
Iowans for Public Education issued information, and an action alert, this month regarding the charter and voucher bills in their state legislature.
Game On for Kansas Schools created an action alert to oppose HB 2119. To read more about that, and to share with anyone you know in Kansas, go here.
Dear JCPS held a caravan to the state capitol for public education. To see their live feed of this event, visit their open Facebook page. Kentucky SOS issued a call to action this month to stop HB 563. Pastors for Kentucky Children joined Kentucky SOS and issued a call to action as well to oppose HB 563.
Step Up Louisiana was very busy this month. They noted that in Louisiana, Black workers are 2.7 times more likely to be unemployed than white workers. They launched their new report this month. Please read and share Left Behind: Racism and Access Issues in Louisiana’s Broken Unemployment System,
Be sure to check in with The Baltimore Algebra Project. They continue to hold powerful events like this one about police in their schools.
Citizens for Public Schools held a series of Say No to MCAS webinars this month. The New Bedford Coalition to Save our Schools is also holding events to inform students and parents on how to refuse the MCAS.
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 uses its open Facebook page to inform the public about what is happening with COVID, school closures, and reopenings. Go here to learn more about what is happening in Michigan education. Michigan Parents for Schools has an extensive website to help Michigan parents and educators. Be sure to check it out here. MI Ed Justice posts important events on their open Facebook page. To keep up with all that is happening in Michigan education, check in with them weekly. Give Trusted Voices ED a follow on Twitter to keep up with their events and issues.
Parents for St. Paul Schools asked their community to rally for a no vote on the Minnesota Math and Science Academy’s $15 million conduit bond request. Here is why. Minnesota Collective for Educational Equity shared on Twitter last month that for the first time in Minnesota’s history, Gov. Tim Walz’s budget recommendations include a proposal for statewide MTSS, specifically calling for an Equity-Centered MTSS framework. This means authentic collaborations between schools and families/communities.
Parents for Public Schools – Moss Point continues to support their community with information about education, meals, and much more. Parents For Public Schools of Greenwood and Leflore County are 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 continues to alert the public on bad legislation. This month it put out an alert for citizens to say NO to LB 681. The bill would allow families to withdraw money from 529 college savings plans to pay for tuition at private and parochial K-12 schools. Nebraska Loves Public Schools launched The Mind Inside Episode 3 last month. Please share.
Educate Nevada NOW had a powerful conversation with CCSD Parents in Show Me The Money: Understanding the K-12 Education Budget. You can view that webinar 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 powerful 3-minute video of the anguish felt by Camden parents as the state forcibly closes their public schools in order to expand enrollment in Camden’s renaissance charter schools. The state takeover and privatization of public education they are seeing take place in Camden have only affected New Jersey’s communities of color. Be sure to check out The Newark Students Union events tab on their Facebook page. They post events that students can take part in to have their voices heard. 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. Montclair Cares About Schools uses its open Facebook page to inform the community about school openings and the COVID crisis. This article concerns ventilation in their High School. 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 works hard to keep the community informed about Board of Education meetings, food distributions, school closures, and other events that impact Paterson, New Jersey. Go here for more information and share it with anyone you know who lives in Paterson.
Class Size Matters is asking NYC parents, teachers, students, and principals about class size. If you know anyone in NYC please send them their survey. New York Allies for Public Education and LI Opt-Out hosted a webinar this month on how to navigate the NYS assessments. Go here for archived video. NYC Opt Out offered great resources for NYC parents on how to get Opt Out letters in ASAP. The Alliance for Quality Education wrote up an analysis of the NYS Assembly & Senate Budget Proposals – “If these proposals are reflected in the enacted budget, it would represent a major step in the right direction that would set New York’s pre-K-12 education system on a road to build back better. ” Give Change the Stakes a follow on Facebook to keep up with what is happening in NYC education during the COVID crisis. Be sure to keep up with the NY BATs on their open Facebook page. FUSE (New Rochelle Federation of United School Employees) is busy fighting for a fair and settled contract. Read more about that here. MORE-UFT is hosting an online event, MORE-UFT Final Study Series: “How To Jumpstart Your Union,” on April 10th. For more information, visit the event tab on their Facebook page. Jackson Heights People for Public Schools conducted an action alert to tax the rich this month. Parents for Public Schools- Syracuse is hosting Fireside Chats each Friday on topics such as education, neurodiversity, and much more. 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 a petition this month to say NO to HB32. If you know anyone in NC, please send them this petition and ask them to get involved. Public funds should not go to private schools. North Carolina Families for School Testing Reform gives up-to-date information in the fight to stop testing in NC on their open Facebook page. Neighbors for Better Neighborhoods conducted an online Information Session regarding the Resident Leader Program. We will have that video in our next newsletter. Pastors for North Carolina Children launched their first newsletter, Proclaiming Public Education. Please share with any faith leaders you know across the nation or in NC. Parents for Public Schools of Pitt County had community conversations for teachers this month. They asked teachers to share thoughts and experiences anonymously about strengths and needs in Pitt County Schools.
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 continues to fight state takeovers in Ohio and update the public on legislation that impacts their community. Northwest Ohio Friends of Public Education shared an article that lawmakers are proposing to scrap the A-F letter grades for Ohio schools. Public Education Partners (PEP) reported the latest on the ECOT school scandal. Parents For Public Schools of Greater Cincinnati post upcoming events on their open Facebook page.
The Oklahoma Parent Legislative Action Committee launched a campaign called #STOPtheFraud. They are wondering when Oklahoma lawmakers will stop the fraud of virtual charters. To read more, go here. Pastors for Oklahoma Children exposed Oklahoma lawmakers on the ALEC payroll. They reported that, “Seeing that abolishing public schools outright wasn’t “politically feasible” – Friedman suggested Private School Vouchers or if you had to: Tuition Tax Credits.” Here’s a list of Oklahoma legislators with ties to ALEC or that are ALEC members. Oklahoma Parents and Educators for Public Education, Oklahomans for Public Education shared an article that found that the state senate and house would hear NO bills related to the EPIC Charter School audit findings. 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 the state of Oklahoma, so they can 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. CAPE is short for the Community Alliance for Public Education. Their goals are to raise awareness and build a community around public education issues, as well as support an informed citizenry in having input into public education policies and practices. If you know anyone in their region of Oregon, send them here to connect. Check out Oregon Save Our Schools posted opt-out forms in English and Spanish. If you know anyone who is a parent of a school-age child in Oregon, please share. 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 shared a webinar that addressed what types of protections exist regarding the disclosure of student records? Attorney Benjamin L. Pratt provides an answer. Tune in to the Ask the Solicitor segment of Video EDition every Monday to hear from school solicitors from around the state of PA. The Pittsburgh Task Force on the Right to Education will be hosting an online event on April 13th to celebrate their champion awards. Education Voters PA held an action alert this month that demanded PA lawmakers choose children over horse racing. Go here to share and view that action. Alliance for Philadelphia Public Schools reported that the Philadelphia Board of Education rejected five charter applications. APPS also shared that the Board of Education recently enacted two new Procedures (note not Policies) curtailing public participation at their meetings. They cut speaker time from 3 minutes to 2 and set a cap on speakers (10 students, 30 adults). However, they keep changing these Policies. The Philadelphia ACLU has taken this case. They should have more news shortly such as whether we can get an injunction to stop this practice at the March 25 Board Action meeting. 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.
The Providence Student Union conducted an action alert this month regarding the splitting of Alvarez High School. To read more about this issue, go here. To keep up with what is happening in Rhode Island, give the Parents Across Rhode Island Facebook page a follow.
The Quality Education Project had a call to action asking all within the QEP community to contact SC House members and ask them to concur with the Senate amendments to H-3589, the Schools of Choice/Innovation Bill. Our public schools need safeguards against takeovers by private school operators.
The Momma Bears have fantastic opt-out of the test resources on their blog for TN assessments. Make sure to 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 mourned the loss of Rev. David George this month. Pastors for Tennessee Children, who are part of the Tennessee Public Education Coalition, published a powerful opinion in The Tennessean about the need for a fully-funded literacy program. Tennessee Strong continues to share articles written in the Tennessee Education Report. The latest set of articles encourage Gov. Lee to use the state surplus to fund Tennessee schools.
Pastors for Texas Children issued a press release in early March regarding Gov. Abbot’s hold harmless policy. CFISD Community Leadership Committee is a volunteer group of parents, business people, and retirees who believe that having a strong independent school district is important to the economic well-being of the Cypress-Fairbanks community. To keep up with their actions and events, visit their website. The Coalition for Public Schools Texas published their latest news and archives of their educational webinars here. 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 movements go to their open Facebook page. RootEd publishes a monthly newsletter called The Branch. Go here to view their newsletter from last month. 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. Check out what they did for Valentine’s Day? Community Voices For Public Education has an open discussion page on Facebook. To keep up with all that is happening in Texas public education and a continued effort to get Texas to not give the STARR exam, go here to join in the discussion. Our Schools San Antonio shared information about an online event to teach parents how to opt-out of the STARR exam. Last month The Coalition for Equity in Public Education rallied neighborhood parents and public school advocates to voice opposition with the city for a proposed charter school within Dallas ISD boundaries. The charter proposal was subsequently pulled by the charter chain, and they will continue to watch the situation closely. Texas AFT hosted an online discussion about the importance of our support professionals. Listen to what they have to say about navigating COVID.
Virginia Educators United is a grassroots collection of pro-public schools people who are creating actions to support Virginia Public Schools. They also organize a closed Facebook group. If you are a Virginia educator, please ask to join and connect. Virginia BATs shared a powerful article on why school reopening in VA is not safe. 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. Washington Paramount Duty issued an action alert this month for SB 5096, the capital gains tax that would raise hundreds of millions of dollars each year for education. To read more and to keep updated about this issue, go here.
The Wisconsin Public Education Network has a lot going on this month, but here are the top four issues they have coming up or that have happened this month. March 11 was their A Conversation with the Candidates for State Superintendent. On March 16, they conducted a Budget Breakdown with State Budget Director Brian Pahnke. They have issued a Call for Proposals for the August 2 Summer Summit! Proposals for their annual action-focused conference will be accepted until March 28. Submit your proposal on any topic under the umbrella of their 2021 theme, Closing the Gaps — opportunity gaps, funding gaps, joy gaps, organizing gaps….get creative and put a session together! You can submit a proposal here. Spring Election Mini-Grants & Digital Promotion Support may be available to local nonpartisan advocacy teams, GOTV efforts, and referenda teams. If you think you know anyone who would be interested, please message WPEN here. Schools and Communities United have asked parents to contact the Board regarding school reopenings. Parents for Public Schools Milwaukee shared WPEN’s resources on the provisions in Governor Evers’ proposed budget that would positively impact the experiences of students in the Milwaukee Public Schools if passed by the legislature.
NPE Grassroots Education Network – Resources and Graphics
The NPE Grassroots Education Network has compiled a list of resources to help communities navigate the COVID pandemic. We created a list of c3 organizations you can donate to help others in need. We have created a space for resources to help educators and parents trying to navigate remote learning. Finally, we are collecting stories highlighting how Public Schools are helping their communities.
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.