Grassroots Education Network- March 2022 Newsletter
The NPE Grassroots Education Network is a network of over 180 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 Grassroots Education Network monthly newsletter for April will be a summary of all the great experiences at the NPE/NPE Action Conference.
NPE’s Conference is Coming Soon!
We are convening in Philadelphia on April 30-May 1. Come and hear what Grassroots Groups like yours across the nation are doing to protect and preserve their public schools. We need to see and hear from each other at this critical time for public education.
If you have not done so, register here. If you are registered, please make sure you secure your hotel room. You can find the link here. NPE must fill those rooms, and the rate is discounted, so please choose the conference hotel.
Full vaccination is required to attend.
The Badass Teachers Association (BATs) contributed to the March Is Reading month campaign with some powerful graphics. 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 held their 103rd (Remote) Annual Meeting of the Provincial Assembly this month. Support Our Students Alberta joined the Alberta Federation of Labor in remembering the 4,003 Albertan lives lost to COVID in the past 2 years and they resolved to continue caring for their community and neighbors. Wear Red for Ed has an active open Facebook page that tracks the Red for Ed movement nationwide. Uniting to Save Our Schools (USOS) posted the Council of Teachers of English statement of academic freedom this month. First Focus Campaign for Children stood with LGBTQ advocates, the medical community, child welfare groups, and all others condemning Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s actions towards trans children. 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 thanked their partners Popular Bank Foundation employees who do volunteer work in their organization. This was the case of the 10 volunteers who participated in the 2022 Puerto Rico Open event. The participation of these volunteers helps Instituto Nueva Escuela gather resources for public education. Insituto Nueva Escuela celebrates these volunteers and are grateful they are part of Puerto Rico’s school transformation. A reminder from Fairplay’s that Screen Free Week will be May 2-8. Take the pledge to be Screen Free during that week.
Equal Opportunity Schools Equal Opportunity is seeking a Chief Financial Officer, who is socially responsible, in-tune with race and diversity in education, and is drawn towards equity. For more information go here. 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 hosted Covid Safety and Schools last month. UnKoch My Campus wants everyone to let their representatives know that the moral panic surrounding Critical Race Theory was incited by the Koch network. Saphron Initiative joined 211 other organizations nationally in sending a letter calling on the federal government to help Ukraine by accelerating a transition to a green energy economy.
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) – highlighted the false narrative around standardized testing on their Facebook page this month.
Grassroots Arkansas attended the Selma Bridge Crossing this month.
Voices for Education are 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 and Arizona Educators United joined a broad coalition calling upon the Arizona Legislature leadership to halt HB2808, a dangerous legislation that would force school takeovers and closures.
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 co-founders Jenna Schwartz and Nicolle Fefferman were highlighted on KCRW radio for their advocacy work this month. Congratulations! The San Francisco Berniecrats Education Justice Committee are working to defeat the insidious big-money recall of their school board!
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 work hard to stop voucher expansion in Colorado. To keep up with their work be sure to visit their website.
Connecticut Public Schools Advocates Children are Connecticut families and educators advocating for safe, equitable, fully funded public schools. Go to their open Facebook page to see what they are working on. Children Are More Than Test Scores has a vibrant open Facebook page full of discussion and information about the fight for public schools. Head over to join the discussion and to connect. 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.
The 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 co-founder Rachel Gunter Shapard gave public comment in the Florida House State Affairs Committee. The Florida Council of Churches took part in a voting rights rally late last month. Opt-Out Florida Network shared that Richard Corcoran, a controversial figure who helped champion Gov. Ron DeSantis’ conservative agenda as Florida’s education commissioner, is resigning his post this spring. 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 are a grassroots group giving a voice to parents of students in any Miami-Dade County Public School. Go here to keep up with any events they are holding in the Miami-Dade area. UnitED for Florida Children has a website full of resources and information. Go here to check it out. Hillsborough Public School Advocates are currently advocating for the state to acknowledge and fund the third round of ESSER funds. HPSA and PTA/PTSA advocated for the Florida state board of education to amend an administrative rule that would have increased concordant scores for the Florida standards assessment. The increased scores would have affected 25% of at risk seniors in the class of 2022. HCPS has been asked to make a recommendation as to whether the school board should adopt a one million property tax through a referendum. They are learning the case for the referendum so they can teach it to others. HPSA has been actively advocating for additional community schools to be added to Hillsborough County. They are awaiting final district approval of 6 additional community schools and FLDOE approval of HCPS’ application for millions in ESSER funds to be allocated toward our community schools. HPSA and HCTA had their 2nd Community Schools Event on March 10th. They formed a coalition with other Hillsborough County organizations for this event, who are also fighting for racial justice and community schools/community schools approach in Hillsborough County. HPSA hopes to get these organizations to join the Network for Public Education (NPE). They also continue to advocate daily to strengthen their grassroots movement with community members and organizations. Democratic Public Education Caucus of Florida asked their followers to take action on the Don’t Say Gay bill. Go here for more information.
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 went down to their capitol late last month to stand with hundreds of DeKalb students who were protesting against politicians who want to ban Black history, censor truth in education, and steal their right to read and to LEARN.
Parents for Public Schools Hawaii shared that late last month the Hawaii Board of Education (BOE) voted unanimously to amend its general 2022 legislative policy positions to support legislation relating to increasing the compensation of school-level employees, including teachers, in public schools.
Illinois Raise Your Hand launched a campaign this month to cancel Aramak custodial services. Go here to read more about this campaign. Illinois Families for Public Schools launched their Refuse the Test campaign this month.
The Indiana Coalition for Public Education President Cathy Fuentes-Rohwer powerful blog about parent empowerment is a must read. Indiana Coalition for Public Schools – Monroe County new podcast Schools In is fantastic. Keep up with the latest episodes here. The Northeast Indiana Friends of Public Education shared Vic’s Statehouse Notes which provided an update on several bills in the Indiana Legislature. 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 spoke to school administration about the possibility of school hours changing next year. They held a zoom to find out how these new hours may impact district families.
Iowans for Public Education provided an update on HSB672 (voucher bill) this month.
Game on for Kansas Schools are asking the Kansas community to send their input to the Kansas State Board of Education regarding graduation requirements. The Personnel Association of Lawrence- Communication Workers of America continue to advocate for the four hundred and twenty eight paraeducators and other classified staff who make less than $15 an hour. They are fighting for a raise for ALL classified staff and to improve their working conditions.
Dear JCPS are working hard to keep the public informed about the last three Tuesday’s of the Kentucky General Assembly. Kentucky Save Our Schools launched a call to action this month to stop HB63. Go here for more information. Gay Adelmann, Director of Kentucky Save Our Schools, reports here on the effort by Republicans to pass funding for charter schools. Pastors for Kentucky Children issued a Call to Action this month to oppose HB9. Go here for more information.
Step Up Louisiana announced they are partnering with Xavier University’s service learners to assist students (k-8th) with their homework.
The Baltimore Algebra Project is a youth organization that works to end the school to prison pipeline. To learn more about them, go here.
Citizens for Public Schools shared a powerful letter by Doug Selwyn about opting out of the MCAS. The New Bedford Coalition to Save our Schools held their retreat this month. Check out pictures from the retreat 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. 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 sent out a very important legislative alert this month about teacher lesson plans. Nebraska Loves Public Schools new video Harvesting Hope is an incredible film. Please watch and share. They are presently fighting voucher bills in their state.
Educate Nevada NOW held a webinar this month on the real state of Nevada schools. 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 shared that the Assembly Education Committee unanimously passed out of committee a bill that would make the new 11th grade high school exit test, NJGPA, a field test for class of 2023. Go here for more information. 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 is a local organization committed to ensuring excellence in public education in New Jersey. To keep up with what they are doing, go here. 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 founder Rosie Grant participated in Read Across America this month. Parents Educating Parents host events for the Newark community. Be sure to check in with them on Facebook for all their latest events. The New Jersey Community Schools Coalition joined the network this month. You can learn about them here.
Class Size Matters released a new report this month called What has happened to class size this school year and what will happen to class size if the Mayor’s cuts are enacted? You can access the report here. The Alliance for Quality Education continued their NYS Universal child care campaign this month. New York Allies for Public Education and LI Opt-Out have published the 2022 opt out letter for NYS on their website. NYC Opt Out shared their Zoom with Rep. Jamaal Bowman here. Rep. Bowman spoke about Grade 3-8 testing. 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 worked to get the NY Health Care Act passed this month. 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 works to support and sustain public schools and promote parents’ involvement in public schools, and their children’s education. They reaffirm and work to preserve the American tradition and ideal of free, open, non-discriminatory, publicly funded, democratically governed public schools. You can follow their work here. 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 encouraged their followers to submit comments to the House Select Committee on an Education System for North Carolina’s Future this month. North 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 Organizers Circle will welcome Educator, Author, Thespian, Mentor, Motivator Flonnie Anderson this month. Go here to view the video. Pastors for North Carolina Children invited all North Carolinians to watch this recording of the Leandro documentary. Funding Leandro is crucial for NC public schools. Parents for Public Schools of Pitt County continue to support their community by providing tours of their local 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 asked their supporters to take action on the Honesty in Education campaign. 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 has a fantastic website full of information that is centered around public education in Ohio. Public Education Partners (PEP) also asked their supporters to support the Honesty in Education campaign.
The Oklahoma Parent Legislative Action Committee held a District 5 candidate forum this month. Pastors for Oklahoma Children are asking Pastors to speak positively about Oklahoma’s public school children, teachers, and administration by signing onto this pledge to take proactive initiatives that advance a constructive future for Oklahoma’s public school system. 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 VideoEDition this month focuses on mental health in public schools. The Pittsburgh Task Force on the Right to Education Champion Awards recognizes outstanding Pittsburgh Public Schools teachers, paraprofessionals, personal care assistants, therapists, school staff, principals, administrators, and fellow students who, through their work, support or friendship, ensure that children with disabilities are provided equal opportunity and access to quality education. If you know of someone that meets that criteria in Pittsburgh, nominate them here. Education Voters PA published a picture diary on March 15th of Pennsylvanians who showed up to mark the close of the education funding lawsuit and to speak up for the school funding that Pennsylvania’s students need and deserve. Enjoy the photos and join the movement! Alliance for Philadelphia Public Schools called on the Philadelphia Board of Education to resume their superintendent search. Read why they are calling for this. 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 Providence Student Union held a Community Conversation: Mental Health Equity for Youth in Our Communities, discussion this month. The discussion was centered around ways young people can lead change around this issue. To keep up with what is happening in Rhode Island, give the Parents Across Rhode Island Facebook page a follow.
The Quality Education Project encouraged their supporters to contact their state Senators about a bad voucher bill.
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. Also, Pastors for Tennessee Children Executive Director Amy Frogge had a fantastic viral tweet about the ten things wrong with TN charters this month. Tennessee Strong continues to share articles written in the Tennessee Education Report. The latest article discusses the truth about TISA. 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 celebrated candidates who support public schools this month. 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. Be sure to check out Texas AFT’s shared a video by Texas Freedom Network about teaching the truth. El Paso Alliance for Just Schools published a graphic about who Gov. Abbot has picked to be on his education task force.
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. Richmond For All provided an update on funding for George Wythe and RPS budget timeline.
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 launched information about their 8th Summer Summit. Schools and Communities United continues to share important information that impacts Milwaukee schools. Be sure to like them on Facebook if you live in Milwaukee, or if you know someone who does send them there. 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.