Grassroots Education Network- November 2021 Newsletter
The NPE Grassroots Education Network is a network of over 175 grassroots organizations nationwide that have joined together to preserve, promote, improve, and strengthen our public schools. If you know of a group that would like to join this powerful network, please go here to sign on.
If you have any questions about the NPE Grassroots Education Network, please contact Marla Kilfoyle, NPE Grassroots Education Network Liaison, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes from Marla
In September, Public Voices for Public Schools was launched. Public Voices for Public Schools gives voice to former voucher and charter parents, educators, parents, and community members who work tirelessly in their communities every day to improve our public schools, even as they fight well-funded efforts to privatize their schools. Each Monday PVPS will share a new story. Please go to the website to subscribe so that you can get the story first thing Monday morning. Give PVPS a follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Retweet the stories on Twitter at #PublicVoices4PublicSchools. Help us amplify the voices fighting the well-funded effort to privatize our schools.
For the past four years, the Network for Public Education has collected and posted charter school scandals from across the United States on a special page of our website entitled Another Day Another Charter School Scandal, which you can find here. NPE has now turned that page into an interactive research database, allowing you to find a collection of stories by state, by scandal type, and by keyword. For example, if you want to search any published story on scandals associated with Success Academy, just type in Success Academy into the query box, and ten stories pop up. Are you looking for stories regarding charter theft or fraud? Use the drop-down menu, and 177 stories appear. At the beginning of the month, we load up all of the stories we found during the prior month. Check back in early December to see November’s scandals. We have presently cataloged stories from 2019 to the present. We plan to add 2017 and 2018 to the research tool shortly. Visit the page and share it. Defending the Early Years announced the dates for their summer institute. Go here for more information. In the Public Interest’s Donald Cohen has published his new book with Allen Mikaelian. The new book, The Privatization of Everything, is a must-have! To read reviews and order it go here. Congratulations to The Journey for Justice Alliance lead organizer Ronsha Dickerson who was recognized in The Grigio as one of the 5 Black women fighting for equitable reopening of classrooms. A new blog by The Schott Foundation outlines how organized communities can fight the far-right. Be sure to keep up with the latest on testing by reading the Fairtest newsletter. Rethinking Schools mourned the loss of Thomas Nkondo Nikundiwe. The Parent Coalition for Student Privacy has privacy toolkits for parents and educators on their website. Parents for Public Schools celebrated their 30th anniversary this month. Happy Anniversary PPS! Parents Across America has a fantastic website full of resources for parents across the country.
The Badass Teachers Association (BATs) shared a powerful graphic on Facebook by Zeke Cohen, former teacher and current Baltimore City Councilmember. The graphic is based on the phrase, “We can’t learn from history, if we don’t learn the real history.” 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 released a statement this month about the Ministry of Education’s de-streaming announcement. 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 issued a response to the approval of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5-11. 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 celebrated their 13th anniversary late last month. Happy Anniversary! Fairplay (formerly known as Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood) logged out of Facebook and Instagram this month to grind their toxic business model to a halt.
Equal Opportunity Schools Equal Opportunity Schools hosted a virtual gathering of district and school leaders this month. Go here to view that gathering. When Public Schools Reopen promoted the global Youth Rights Day which took place this month. It is a day the United Nations celebrates its Convention on the Rights of the Child. More information is at this link. 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 website is full of great resources for teachers, parents, and communities. Go here to view their website.
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) keeps Alabama up-to-date on what is happening with the corporate education reform movement. Go here to subscribe and to keep updated.
Grassroots Arkansas reported on the outcome of the vote on the tax millage.
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 launched their “Why I Fight” campaign. Go here to see it. Arizona Educators United posted a powerful message early this month. Education is not the problem, education is the solution. Keep up with what the Friends of Public Schools-Scottsdale are doing here.
California Educators United is a rank and file-led network of educators and supporters of public education. They are part of the movement for racial equity and social justice, fully funded public education through progressive taxation, and pro-public education and anti-privatization. To follow their movements, go here. The Public Core program, Between Two Teachers, is informative. To view all their archived programs, go here. The Association of RAZA Educators is located in Los Angeles. If you live in the area and are interested in joining their monthly meetings go here. Bay Area Collective Keeping Privatizers Away from Community Schools (BACKPACS) is an organization dedicated to strengthening and protecting public education in the Bay Area. Go here to follow what they are working on. Educators for Democratic Schools-Oakland open Facebook page reports all that is happening in the Oakland Unified School District. Parents Supporting Teachers issued a statement about the approval for children to get vaccines. They attended an event to kick off the vaccine effort for children.
Pueblo Education Coalition’s goal is to represent educators, parents, community members, students, and all stakeholders towards positive change for Pueblo’s public education. To keep up with their movements, go here. Taxpayers for Public Education provided an update on the defeat of Prop 119 here.
The members of 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 is a Facebook group created by Professor of Literacy, Elementary and Early Childhood Education, Jesse Turner that, welcomes members who believe that No Child Left Behind, Race To The Top, ESSA, and the Common Core are misguided educational reform policy that relies too heavily on standardized test scores and is too focused on punitive measures against children, teachers, and local schools. To get into the conversation go here. 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 provided a summary of State Rep. Randy Fine’s bill that was introduced in the state House. According to Fund Education NOW, the bill contains some of the most sweeping government-imposed speech restrictions ever seen in a piece of legislation. Florida BATs and Broward BATs post the latest updates on how the Florida COVID surge is impacting schools. Go here and here for updates. Pastors for Florida Children exists to provide care to local schools, and to advocate for children by supporting a free public education system that promotes social justice for children, and to advance legislation that enriches FL children, families, and communities. To keep up with what they are doing, go here. The Florida Council of Churches requested Florida citizens to tell the Florida legislature to protect public health and to block the governor’s special session agenda. Opt-Out Florida Network stood in solidarity with school bus drivers and all non-instructional staff who make public education possible. Pinellas Parents Advocating for Public Schools organizes on a private Facebook page. If you know of anyone in the Pinellas area, have them join to connect. Protect Our Public Schools, Manasota believes that free, quality public education is a right for all children and is necessary for the optimal functioning of a democratic society. To keep up with their movements during the COVID-19 crisis, go here. Miami-Dade County Public School District Parents posted the new COVID 19 protocols for the Miami Schools District. UnitED for Florida Children has questions for Gov. DeSantis regarding his new policy on FASA. Hillsborough Public School Advocates has a new website! Be sure to visit it to keep up with all the amazing work they are doing in Florida. Democratic Public Education Caucus of Florida President Scott Hottenstein issued a statement on the Results of the Manatee County Education Referendum
Public Education Matters Georgia is a statewide organization committed to fostering community support for quality public education in GA through outreach, information, and advocacy. To keep up with their advocacy go here. Moms and Dads Now Enduring Surrealistic Stupidity (MADNESS) shared this powerful letter about standardized testing from an Athens, GA student. Opt-Out Georgia organized the opt-out movement in Georgia via a closed Facebook group of over 8,000 members. If you live in Georgia or know someone who does, encourage them to connect with this group. The Georgia Chapter of the National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME) was founded in 1990 to bring together individuals from all academic levels and disciplines and from diverse educational institutions and other organizations, occupations, and communities who had an interest in multicultural education. NAME is committed to a philosophy of inclusion that embraces the basic tenets of democracy and cultural pluralism. To keep up with their actions, visit their website. The Georgia Youth Justice Coalition tweeted a powerful campaign to show how Georgia lawmakers attempt to takeover Gwinnett County is terrible. Also, GA Youth Justice Coalition organizer Senait Pirani wrote this powerful op-ed about diverse representation due to be published.
Parents for Public Schools Hawaii hosted their annual meeting and a talk story this month. Go here to view the video.
Illinois Raise Your Hand is asking Illinois citizens to take the PEER IL survey. Tell them what you want funded for Illinois public education. Illinois Families for Public Schools has pinned a post on their Facebook page which provides a Recess Law Toolkit. Check it out here.
The Indiana Coalition for Public Education shared that the Muncie School District welcomed their first Afghan family this month. Go here to view the story. Indiana Coalition for Public Schools – Monroe County has a fantastic website full of resources for Indiana parents. The Northeast Indiana Friends of Public Education has a fantastic blog. Go here to view their stories. The mission of the Northwest Indiana Coalition for Public Education is to advocate for a high quality and equitable public education for every child in NWI. Go here to keep up with what they are working on. Washington Township Parent Council Network launched their “Celebration Series” this month.
Iowans for Public Education is a grassroots movement to protect Iowa’s tradition of quality public schools. To keep up with their activities go here.
Game on for Kansas Schools Executive Director Judith Deedy was quoted in this article about school board elections. Public Voices for Public Schools also featured Judith and her story How Kansas Parents Take on the Anti-public School Legislature and Score Big. The Personnel Association of Lawrence- Communication Workers of America continue to support their classified staff by holding monthly meetings.
Dear JCPS and Kentucky Save Our Schools are getting ahead of the legislative session by warning citizens about two bills that have been pre-filed for the upcoming legislative session. Pastors for Kentucky Children added their name to an amicus brief that opposed Kentucky state vouchers. Go here to read it.
Step Up Louisiana Co-Founder/Co-Director Maria Harmon spoke on a powerful panel to abolish prison slavery this month.
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 MassBudget’s comprehensive toolkit on how an unprecedented influx of federal education funds is affecting public K-12 schools and what can be done to influence how new federal funds will be invested. The New Bedford Coalition to Save our Schools protested a new charter school that would be opening in their community.
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 congratulated Nebraska Teacher of the Year Megan Helberg of Loup County Public Schools who met with First Lady Dr. Jill Biden this month. All of Nebraska Loves Public Schools films are free and available to stream online. Go here for more information.
Educate Nevada NOW created an altar for a Dia De Los Muertos event this month. Northern Nevada Parents and Teachers United was created in 2021 as a response to the growing frustration of parents and teachers about the state of Nevada’s schools. They believe that parents and teachers both want what is best for children, and our schools will only get better when those who work in them are valued and respected. To learn more about their work visit their website.
New Hampshire Leaders for Just Schools are NH public school educators dedicated to the mission of creating more equitable and just learning environments. Give them a follow on Twitter to keep up with what they are doing. Barrington Educators Association is the local chapter of the New Hampshire-NEA. You can view updated work here. To contact them about issues happening in NH, go here.
Save our Schools NJ is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization of more than 37,000 parents and other concerned residents who support public education. To keep up with their actions and events go here. Check out The Newark Students Union events tab on their Facebook page. The posted events provide an excellent template for student organizing. The Delran Education Association congratulated their boys soccer team who won the state championship! 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 posted a rescheduled meeting list for the Paterson Board of Education.
Class Size Matters shared compelling testimony on the need to lower class size from Regent Cashin, Diane Ravitch, Elsie McCabe Thompson and others. Follow New York Allies for Public Education on their website for the latest news on opting out in New York. LI Opt-Out has had a busy school year trying to help parents navigate the pandemic. To keep up with all they are doing to navigate the school year be sure to visit their public Facebook page. NYC Opt Out warned that NYC has broadly implemented a boatload of new assessments this year, from iReady, Acadience, or MAPs three times a year. They also warned that the very questionable DESSA SEL screener that teachers must complete for each student will also be administered. The Alliance for Quality Education held a NYS Child Care Tour this month with NYS Senator Jabari Brisport. 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 exposed that NYC school staff would have to watch a one hour webinar then give the social emotional screener DESSA to all their K-12 students. 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 hosted a family forum to learn more about Parents for Public Schools of Syracuse and how the community can work together to support students and staff in Syracuse’s public schools this month. 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 shared a report on how the budget plan would expand access to vouchers. 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 conducted an important Organizers Circle this month with Dr. Fleming El-Amin. Pastors for North Carolina Children wants everyone to listen to their amazing Communities for the Education of Every Child NC coalition friend Susan Book. Susan explains how students with disabilities pay the price when there are shortages of qualified special education teachers. Parents for Public Schools of Pitt County are so excited for their Fall Community Leader Tour Series, titled, “What’s NEW in Pitt County Schools?“ Go here for more information.
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 leader Barbie Washington won her Board election. Congratulations Barbie! Also It Takes A Village To Tackle House Bill 70 celebrates their 3rd anniversary this month. Happy Anniversary! Northwest Ohio Friends of Public Education is a citizen-driven, non-partisan movement to inform and engage Northwest Ohioans, at the community level, to support and strengthen public schools. To keep up with the issues they are working on, go here. Parents For Public Schools of Greater Cincinnati post upcoming events on their open Facebook page. Northeast Ohio Friends of Public Education have a fantastic website full of information that is centered around public education in Ohio. Public Education Partners (PEP) shared that the U.S. Court Of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled against plaintiffs’ challenge of a charter school dress code.
The Oklahoma Parent Legislative Action Committee invited Duncan-area advocates to hear directly from Oklahoma State Auditor and Inspector Cindy Byrd on her audit of Epic Charter Schools. Pastors for Oklahoma Children posted that congregations find that reaching out to their local schools is an important way to serve children and their families. 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 delivers quality school director training for both newly elected and returning directors. To learn more go here. The Pittsburgh Task Force on the Right to Education asked parents to provide testimony this month on the impact of suspensions on children. Education Voters PA are providing updates on the PA school funding lawsuit. Alliance for Philadelphia Public Schools blog this month by Lisa Haver exposes how the Philadelphia board is using underhanded tactics to silence teachers. 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 are also providing up-to-date news on the PA school funding lawsuit.
The Providence Student Union thanked everyone who came out to show support for Transgender Day of Remembrance. Go here to see their video. To keep up with what is happening in Rhode Island, give the Parents Across Rhode Island Facebook page a follow.
The Quality Education Project will host a forum on January 6th with the South Carolina Education Association. The forum will cover corporate tax breaks and funding for public education
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. Be sure to visit the Pastors for Tennessee Children website. It is full of valuable information and resources. Tennessee Strong continues to share articles written in the Tennessee Education Report. The latest article has educator Ellen Dahlke discuss her experience teaching this year. Tennessee BATs organize out of a closed group on Facebook with over one thousand members. If you are a Tennessee teacher or a supporter of public education in Tennessee, go here and ask to join their Facebook group to connect.
Pastors for Texas Children Executive Director Rev. Charles Foster Johnson presented at the National Superintendents Conference 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 held a free movie screening of On These Grounds this month. Our Schools San Antonio is a coalition committed to community-driven public education in the San Antonio Independent School District. The Coalition for Equity in Public Education works to uphold democratic community schools by evaluating education policy and communicating findings to the public. Founded in 2017, they have been determined to make an impact for the betterment of local ISDs. To keep up with their work go here. Texas AFT continued their #KnowYourRights campaign for teachers this month. El Paso Alliance for Just Schools were quoted in an article about the new El Paso Superintendent.
Virginia Educators United is a grassroots collection of pro-public school people who act to support Virginia Public Schools. They organize in a closed Facebook group. If you are a Virginia educator, please ask to join and connect. Virginia BATs also organize in a closed Facebook group. If you are a Virginia educator, parent, or community member, please ask to join and connect. Support Our Schools-Shenandoah County organizes to fight for public education in that region. You can connect here. Virginia Public Education Partners is dedicated to supporting and protecting public education. They work to end school privatization maneuvers that undermine democracy and diminish available resources for public schools. Follow their events and actions here.
WA BATs organizes in a closed Facebook group. Go here to join and connect. Washington’s Paramount Duty is a non-partisan, grassroots group of parents and allies working to compel the state to amply fund basic education and swiftly fulfill its paramount duty. They envision a future where every child has equitable access to an amply funded basic education.
West Virginia United Caucus is a caucus of rank-and-file members dedicated to helping create a more democratic, member-run union, whose purpose is to help empower communities and workers around a common set of ideas. Visit their website to learn more about their work.
The Wisconsin Public Education Network had report card day this month! Schools and Communities United continue to share information for the community on COVID clinics they can access for vaccination. If you live in the Milwaukee community join Parents for Public Schools Milwaukee, students and allies to create a strong, diverse, districtwide network of parent advocates for children and their schools. Working with teachers, the superintendent, city and state officials, they are focused on finding and implementing solutions that will help children receive the high-quality public education they deserve.
NPE Grassroots Education Network – Resources and Graphics
Here is a link to our resources page. It will help you navigate resources covering a variety of topics. This is a live document and will be updated so check back for new resources.
Here is a link to our graphics page. It will provide powerful visuals for you to share on social media. This is a live document and will be updated so check back for new graphics.