March 30, 2019 8:00 pm

March 2019 Grassroots Education Network Newsletter

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I am very proud to present our first newsletter! As we discussed in our February meeting I will be putting out the NPE Grassroots Education Network Newsletter at the end of each month. NPE is honored to do this work with you and inspired by all that you are doing for our children and public schools. First order of business – please fill out this poll to secure a date for our April meeting. The poll will close on 4/7 and I will send an email out as to the date most of us can attend. The NPE Grassroots Education Network is now over 100 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 up.

If you have any questions about the NPE Grassroots Education Network please contact Marla Kilfoyle, NPE Grassroots Liaison at

NPE Remembers Phyllis Bush

This month the NPE community and the nation lost a warrior for public education.  To read the NPE statement honoring founding Board member, Phyllis Bush please go here. Please consider donating what you can to The Phyllis Bush Memorial Award Fund. Services for Phyllis Bush will be Saturday, May 4 at 11 a.m. in Fort Wayne. Of course, she requested that guests wear red for public ed.  

National Organizing

NPE Grassroots Education Network national organizations are on the move for public education. Defending the Early Years launched its 4th mini-documentary in the “Teachers Speak Out” series. In this mini-documentary, early childhood educator Kisha Reid expertly describes how play-based environments spark creativity and are crucial for the developing brain. In the Public Interest viral video on why charter schools are such a controversy is a must watch and share! The Journey for Justice Alliance has launched a new Podcast called “On The Ground.”  It is featured on Mondays at 6 PM CST and hosted by Jitu Brown!  You can subscribe on Soundplay here. Fairtest pumps out weekly information about the movements on testing resistance across the nation.  Their weekly newsletter comes out each Monday and is a must for anyone fighting corporate education reform.

Parent Coalition for Student Privacy continues to update the nation on data privacy issues across the country. Make sure you check out their website and their new State Privacy Student Report Card, which was co-sponsored by NPE. Parents for Public Schools National was present at the CNN’s Town Hall broadcast live from Jackson, MS. PPS Executive Director Joann Mickens,  PPS PEP Graduate Stephanie Eubanks-Wright, and Schoolhouse to Statehouse Community Coordinator Becky Heavner were invited to attend and submit questions for Senator Elizabeth Warren. Check out this link for the video.

The Schott Foundation continues to host informative webinars such as What If We Used Wealth to Heal, Not Harm?  To keep up with their webinar series, reports, and movements visit them here.  The Badass Teachers Association track and elevate teacher voice all over the country.  To find out what teachers are up to, how they are mobilizing, and how they are fighting for education justice check out the movements of BATs. Go here for more information. Finally, The Network for Public Education  released a blistering reporton how the federal government wastes hundreds of millions of dollars on defunct charter schools. NPE is also asking organization to take action regarding this waste. Go here to take action.  

NPE Grassroots Education Network – State Organizations On the Move for Public Education

Please use this clearinghouse of information to inform people in the various states about the NPE Grassroots Education Network organizations. Please encourage people to join them and support their work! Call on family, friends, and colleagues to join the fight to save public education!


SOS (Save our Schools) is reporting that the Alabama legislature is repealing Common Core.  


Voices for Education will be hosting a screening of Backpack Full of Cash on April 2nd.  For more information go here. Arizonans for Charter School Accountability expose BASIS Charter Schools and how they waste taxpayer dollars. To learn more go here. Save our Schools Arizona roadshow is now available statewide! Invite them to your Rotary Club meeting, book club, community center, even your kitchen table. Their presenters will provide your group with a concise, factual and nonpartisan overview of the history of education funding in Arizona as well as current issues and paths forward. Go here for more information.


California Educators Rising continue to follow the movement of teacher strikes in California. To keep up with the Oakland, UTLA, and Sacramento teacher strikes go here.  


Fund Education NOW, Broward BATs, and Opt Out Florida Network are fighting voucher expansion in Florida. The Opt Out Florida Network is also gearing up for their refuse the test season. To access their complete opt out of testing guide for Florida click here.  


Public Education Matters Georgia are engaged in stopping a voucher bill.  To learn more about their fight to stop SB173 and HB68 go here.


Parents for Public Schools Hawaii engaged in a funding campaign for their schools this past month. To learn more about how they are fighting to get the schools in Hawaii fully funded go here.


Indiana Coalition for Public Education is holding informational forums on education bills coming before their state legislature.  To keep up with their forums and movements head to their open Facebook page. The Northeast Indiana Friends of Public Education is hosting an evening with Jennifer McCormick, Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction, on April 18 at IVY Tech. For information go here.


Illinois Raise Your Hand is pumping out some amazing toolkits for Illinois residents. To check out their Bullying Toolkit and Refuse the IAR Resources go here.


Game On for Kansas continues their fight for more funding. Currently they are pushing for legislation that would provide more funding for Kansas children. To learn more about this go here.


Kentucky SOS and Dear JCPS are taking to the streets to fight Gov. Bevins attempt to introduce charters to the state and begin the process of privatizing JCPS.  To learn more about their movements go here. Pastors for Kentucky Children continue to support the work of educators in Kentucky with powerful action and letters to their lawmakers – just like this one.


Citizens for Public Schools is engaged in an action to fund their schools.  If you live in Massachusetts please join them in taking action here. New Bedford Coalition to Save our Schools held a rally on 3/23 to bring to light the impact of giving public school funds to a privately run school with no accountability. NBCSOS reports that “gifting one of the city’s oldest school buildings and its land to the private entity that runs Alam del Mar is ludicrous. City and state officials have been working behind closed doors to sidestep the community’s voices in determining the future of public education for residents of New Bedford. Join educators, students, and parents in the fight for quality public schools and the resistance to charter school expansion in New Bedford. Our voices, our futures.” To find out how the rally went go here.


The Algebra Project in Baltimore rallied at the state house on March 13 to keep guns out of their schools. Their #counselorsnotcops rally was to stop Senate Bill 884. To learn more go here.


Michigan Network for Equity in Education shares the continued fight in Benton Harbor school district in this powerful article.    


Parents for Public Schools – Moss Point continue to be powerhouse voices for children at their local school board meetings. To hear them testify go here.

North Carolina

Public Schools First NC is trying to get Senate Bill 329 (Reading Improvement Act) passed. It would provide one teacher assistant in every classroom for grades K-2.  To learn more about their work go here. Parents for Public Schools of Pitt County took their show on the road to KidsFest to get folks to engage, educate, and mobilize for public education. Check out their amazing table. North Carolina Families for School Testing Reform hosted an evening with Diane Ravitch – to view the video go here.


Stand for Schools is fighting a tax credit scholarship, which is a voucher program, in their state. To learn more about their work to beat LB670 read here. Nebraska Loves Public Schools continues to pump out some of the most powerful short films about public education. To see the array of short films they produce please visit their website. Nebraska Loves Public Schools and Stand for Schools are also helping in the relief effort for families and communities impacted by the floods in Nebraska. To support their work please go here.

New Jersey

Save our Schools NJ was part of a HUGE victory in NJ by being a leading force in putting a hold on a bill to change graduation requirements.  For more on their amazing victory read here. The Newark Student Union made their presence known at the Newark Public Schools Board of Education candidate forum. Go to 1:07 at this video to hear the voice of students and the power of their words!  


Educate Nevada NOW shares a powerful report that shows the disparity in resources for ELL and FRL students statewide. To check out their report go here.

New York

Class Size Matters held a successful Parent Action Conference. To learn more about the conference check out their write up. Class Size Matters continues to be a leader in the nation on research about why class size matters. The recent national teacher strikes put class size at the forefront of their fight. Please head to Class Size Matters website for research on why class size matters! New York is gearing up for opting out of testing. NYSAPE, NYC Opt Out, and LI Opt Out continue to lead the charge in the movement to opt out of testing. NY has the highest opt out rate of any state in the county (over 20%) and the movement is still going strong. NYSAPE and LI Opt Out provide simple one page fact sheets on why parents should refuse testing for their children. They are inviting all to “ignore the noise” coming out of NYSED that is misleading and inaccurate. NYC Opt Out continues to hold forums for parents on how to opt out in NYC. They have an excellent website geared towards parents opting out in NYC.

Meanwhile ECE Policy Works is producing tons of great information on how to protect early childhood education in NY and the nation. ECE highlights nine teachers of young children who speak straight from the heart, who challenge policies that have drastically altered early childhood, damaged our youngest students, and demoralized those who educate them. The Alliance for Quality Education (AQE) NY leads the charge on equitable funding in NYS. Their “View from the Classroom: Report on Schools Tour Finds That Underfunding is Depriving Students of Educational Opportunities” report details the findings of the tour, and provides concrete examples of how chronic underfunding has limited educational opportunities and created challenges for students in communities ranging from large cities to rural areas. The MORE Caucus in NYC continues to fight for the schools that children deserve and for smaller class size in NYC. Finally, the Jackson Heights People for Public Schools held an amazing event that featured Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, NYS State Sen. Jessica Ramos, NYS Sen. John Liu, and NYS Sen. Robert Jackson. To see all 9 videos of this amazing event, which gained national attention, please head click here.  


Oklahoma Pastors for Kids joined the NPE Grassroots Education Network this month. We are so honored to have them! Oklahoma Pastors for Kids Pastor Clark is featured here in a video talking about the power of public schools! Oklahoma Parent Legislative Action Committee also joined the NPE Grassroots Education Network this month and scored a big victory when they got Oklahoma Governor Stitt to create a proclamation for Public Schools Week (March 25-29). Check out the proclamation here.  


Public Education Partners created a powerful resolution to end state takeovers. Their resolution is a fantastic template to use in any state. Check it out here. Ohio BATs hosted a powerful “Kids Can’t Wait” rally at their statehouse. To read about this rally go here.  


The Community Alliance for Public Education (CAPE) published a powerful editorial in the Eugene Weekly about the testing of young children and graduation requirements. You can read that editorial here. Oregon Save our Schools and Oregon BATs initiated a letter campaign to increase funding and cut wasteful spending. One of the most wasteful programs Oregon SOS pointed out was through the Oregon Department of Education assessment system, which includes the Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBAC) Oregon Kindergarten Assessment (OKA) and others. Check out their letter campaign here.


Keystone State Education Coalition is pushing hard for legislation that would end cyber charter abuse. To read more about this work go here. The Pennsylvania School Boards Association will be hosting an Advocacy Day on April 29. Check it out!

Rhode Island

Providence Student Union headed to the March for Our Lives RI Rally and PSU’s Aleita Cook gave a powerful speech. Check out her speech here.

South Carolina

Quality Education Project continues to organize around repealing Act 388 which is strangling education budgets in South Carolina. If you live in South Carolina consider attending their organizing events.


The Momma Bears continue to expose bad education legislation with their amazing and well read blog. Here are several blog posts that target why and Education Savings Accounts (ESAs) bill is bad legislation and expose how outside organizations are buying off Tennessee education.


Do not mess with Texas Grassroots Groups! CFSID Community Leadership Committee continue to advocate for school finance. Check out all their great work in Texas! The Texas Coalition for Public Schools will be hosting a series of community meetings. Check back to their website for dates and times. Pastors for Texas Children continue to lead a national effort to gather faith leaders across the country to join the fight for public education. They are also leading the charge in Texas to add $9 billion in funding for Texas schools and children. Texas Kids Can’t Wait‘s powerful video on public education in Texas is from 2012 but gives you a sense of their work in Waco and their power! They have a fantastic and comprehensive website with lots of resources for Texas advocates for education. Finally, Community Voices for Public Education share the impact of the fire at the Intercontinental Terminals Company Deer Park facility on Houston schools. You can follow their updates here.  


Virginia Educators United were in full force at the Virginia Day of Action. Check out the video here.

Washington State

WA BATs are a driving force in Washington State for education funding, education justice, and communities. To check out their powerful movement, read this article from their 2014 Seattle protest against Bill Gates.

Washington D.C.

First Focus on Children are an amazing resource to go to for information on child poverty and its impact on our children. To check out all their amazing resources and MORE go here.


Parents for Public Schools Milwaukee and Wisconsin Education Network are fighting for increased funding for special education. Check out their fight here. Finally, make sure you check out Schools and Communities United powerful report (Click PDF – Brown v. Board of Education Booklet) “Fulfill the Promise:  A Report Card on Social Justice in Milwaukee and Wisconsin.”  

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. If you have any resources to add please email them to Marla Kilfoyle at

In strong solidarity,

Marla Kilfoyle,

Grassroots Liaison

Network for Public Education