This Week in Education Organizing - April 1, 2016

The Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools Newsletter
April 1, 2016

Welcome to our April 1 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.

Support Chicago!
  Early morning Chicago protest.
Picture via Teachers for Social Justice.

Today Chicago teachers, parents, students and community members are taking a stand against the continued assault on Chicago's working class people, neighborhoods and public schools. Teachers are refusing to work today, effectively shutting down public schools, and instead are joining parents and students at rallies across the city. The day will culminate with a major rally downtown at 4 PM.

You can show your solidarity with Chicago organizers by wearing red and sharing messages of support on social media with #ShutDownChi, #FightForFunding and #ReclaimOurSchools. You can also add your name to our letter of support.

You can find a 1-pager with more details about the event on our resources page. You can also check out this FAQ from the Chicago Teachers Union.

By supporting local actions like this one, we can help elevate the call for educational justice and build a nationwide movement for the schools all our children deserve!

A new report by the Annenberg Institute for School Reform found that over 60% of Massachusetts charter schools have no parents on their governing board. Instead nearly one-third of governing board members in the state hail from the corporate or financial services sectors. The state charter school association responded that “some schools are opposed to seating parents on their boards because they may have conflicts of interest if their own children attend the schools.” When asked whether parents might be more likely to oppose strict discipline and behavior policies in the schools, the charter spokesperson responded that “suspensions, particularly at the beginning of the school year, are important tools for getting parents involved.” Read the full story about the report here.


April 4: #MakeGEPay in Boston
At the same time that Boston schools are facing a budget shortfall, Governor Charlie Baker and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh have promised tax breaks for General Electric and are hosting a forum with GE executives on April 4. Community groups will rally outside the event to demand that corporations pay their fair share in taxes. Details here.

May 4: More National Walk-Ins on the Horizon!
Mark your calendars: After the success of the February 17 walk-ins, the Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools will be organizing a second national walk-in event on May 4. We'll have more details soon, so stay tuned! We've also updated our walk-in toolkit from February with new materials for the May event.

Follow the Alliance to Reclaim our Schools on Facebook and Twitter and learn more at