This Week in Education Organizing - Jan. 15, 2016

The Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools Newsletter
  January 15, 2016

Welcome to our January 15 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.

We are just 4 weeks away from the first-ever nationally coordinated Walk-Ins for the Schools All Our Children Deserve. On February 17, parents, teachers and students across the country will participate in "walk-ins" in more than 25 cities and 400 schools. The Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools has developed a toolkit of materials to support walk-in organizers. We will also be hosting two webinars; the Jan. 19 webinar will provide a general overview of the walk-in action and the Feb. 4 webinar will focus on social media and messaging tactics. If you’re interested in joining the webinars, please email

BEJA town hall
A panel discussion at the Boston
Education Justice Alliance town hall.

On Thursday, the Boston Education Justice Alliance (BEJA) hosted a town hall forum on the future of public education and the schools Boston children deserve. The event focused squarely on fighting charter expansion in Massachusetts—attacking the drain of public dollars from public schools to charters, the secretive district-charter compact funded by the Gates Foundation, and a new proposal to create a universal enrollment system that would channel even more students towards the city’s charter schools. A newly formed business-backed coalition is amassing over $18 million to win charter expansion in the state. Over 350 participants turned out for the BEJA event, which included breakout groups and panel discussions led by students, parents & educators. BEJA is an alliance of students, educators, parents, school staff, and concerned community members who are deeply tied to the neighborhoods of Boston and directly affected by public education. Click here for more info.

This week, a coalition of labor and community groups in Los Angeles praised the LAUSD School Board's unanimous resolution to condemn a proposal put forward by the Broad Foundation that would ramp-up charter schools in LA. “It is up to all of us—the school board, city officials, educators, parents and students—to reclaim the promise of public education in Los Angeles,” said Alex Caputo-Pearl, the president of UTLA. The resolution establishes the Board’s opposition to market-based reforms, and instead calls on the District to implement a wide range reforms focused on equity, parent engagement and academics in the city’s schools. Read more about the School Board vote here.

AQE Rally
Parents and students at the NY State Capitol.
  Picture via Alliance for Quality Education.

In his State of the State address this week, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed spending $100 million to support the expansion of community schools. His announcement came days after hundreds of parents and students rallied at the state capitol to demand that the state’s $2.7 billion surplus go towards education priorities. The Alliance for Quality Education also released a report documenting how much NY owes each individual school following a 2006 state supreme court ruling that found NY grossly underfunds its public schools. Read more about the report here and about the rally here. And check out pictures from the rally on Twitter with #StandUp4Kids.

On January 7, the Philadelphia Coalition Advocating for Public Schools (PCAPS) released a comprehensive community schools vision and platform that were developed over the last year by a group of public school parents, educators, service providers, university partners and community organizations. The platform outlines clear, concrete next steps that will ensure real community schools are built across the city to provide transformational education and resources to Philly’s neediest neighborhoods. As an initial step, PCAPS is calling for the city to establish a funded and representative task force focused on planning for the development of more community schools. Read more here.


Jan. 16:
The Boston Student Advisory Council will host a statewide Youth Summit to discuss education policies, share experiences, and to learn how students can help shape school discipline policies. Details here.

Feb. 17:
Join parents, students and teachers in over 25 cities and "walk-in" for the schools all our children deserve! Details here.

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