News & Updates

This afternoon the U.S. Senate confirmed Betsy DeVos as our new Secretary of Education. Last night, over a dozen Senators spoke at a Washington, D.C. rally, thanking everyone for the unprecedented outpouring of concern over this confirmation—concern that swung two Republican votes and forced the Vice President to break a tie. Our voices were heard.

 
BETSY DEVOS IS ON THE BRINK OF DEFEAT. YOU CAN HELP SINK THIS DISASTROUS NOMINATION WITH TWO PHONE CALLS OR TWEETS RIGHT NOW. SEE BELOW:

AROS National Day of Action: January 19th
The Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools (AROS) stands for fully funded public schools that provide a quality education to every child. We will not cooperate with Donald Trump’s stated plans to divert billions of public dollars to vouchers and charter schools.  We will not cooperate with his hateful rhetoric and bullying of immigrant children, LGBT students, Muslims and others. We oppose the confirmation of billionaire Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education. We demand safe and nurturing schools where children can learn without being frightened or harassed.  We will work for policies and practices that strengthen our public schools, not dismantle them.

Students Stand Up, Walk Out

“A lot of my friends are disabled, a lot of my friends are immigrants, a lot of my friends are undocumented. This is scary. Everyone was just so distraught, and we all want to do something.”  This quote, from Hebh Jamal, a student at Beacon High School in New York City, pretty much sums up the emotions.  But students there, and around the country have done more than speak up.  They’ve taken their fear to the streets in the wake of the November 8th elections.

Click here for a printable PDF.

MEMO:  Results of Two Key Charter Initiatives Suggest Growing Concern About Charter Impacts
November 9, 2016

The defeat of two high-profile charter initiatives at the ballot box on Tuesday signals a growing public concern about the impacts, and rapid proliferation of charter schools across the country. 

Massachusetts

HAVE YOU SIGNED?

Have you signed the Color of Change petition supporting the new AROS Platform, Education Justice is Racial Justice?  If not, take 2 minutes right now to sign the petition, then share it on your Facebook page and on Twitter.  Next, copy the link to the petition, plug it into an email, and email it to 30 of your personal friends and colleagues, asking them to sign.  AROS is setting a high bar – we want to signal the breadth of the country’s demand for real investment for education and racial justice.  Be one of the people who signs TODAY!

IS YOUR STATE CRYING POOR WHILE FUNNELING MONEY TO PRIVATE SCHOOLS?

In another example of how the wealthy use the tax code to their benefit while public schools suffer, some states are funneling public dollars to private schools and allowing businesses and upper-income taxpayers to turn a profit in the process, according to a report released by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP).

The report examines tax policies in 20 states that have circumvented public opposition or even constitutional obstacles to publicly funded private school vouchers by using their tax codes to either encourage donations to private school scholarship funds, also known as neovouchers or backdoor vouchers or to offset the cost of private school tuition. Ten of these states actually allow taxpayers to turn a profit on their donations to private schools. 

Congratulations to everyone who organized, participated in and helped spread the word about the AROS October 6th Walk-Ins! By all accounts, it was an amazing day at both the local level and at the national level. With the united efforts of thousands, we lifted up a powerful message about the importance of public education.

This recap can only hope to share some of the reach, energy and power of the walk-ins. Each of you will have your own story, and will have the opportunity to build on that story over the coming weeks and months.

The media coverage for our Walk-Ins has been unbelievable. According to our communications firm, which has been collecting press from the event, we had well over 100 stories about the walk-ins appearing in newspapers, on TV or on the radio in 24 states and in national media including the Washington Post, Huffington Post, Jet Magazine, and on SiriusXM radio stations. A complete (to date) media list is attached.

Welcome to our September 30th newsletter! As always, share the latest stories from your city or state with us on Twitter and Facebook. Don't forget to tell your friends and colleagues to sign up for our newsletter here.

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