This Week in Education Organizing - June 3, 2016

The Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools Newsletter
  June 3
, 2016

Welcome to our June 3 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.

MTA award
Congrats to these student organizers!
Picture via BSAC.

In mid May, the Massachusetts Teachers Association presented the President's Award to a group of student organizers who "embody the spirit of student activism." Fania Joseph, a Boston sophomore and member of the Boston Student Advisory Council, accepted the award on behalf of BPS student organizers and addressed the thousands of delegates at the MTA's annual meeting. Congrats to those student organizers in Massachusetts and a huge thank you for all your work to ensure students have a voice in their schools! Read more here.

Writing this week in Alternet, Sarah Lazare tells the powerful story of how student and community organizers with the Labor/Community Strategy Center's Fight for the Soul of the Cities worked to remove surplus military equipment that had been given to Los Angeles schools under the federal 1033 program. Over the course of nearly two years of sit-ins, protests and grassroots organizing, they highlighted how militarized school police forces contribute to the school-to-prison pipeline and the criminalization of students of color. Not only did the district return the military equipment to the federal government, district leaders also issued formal apologies. Read the full story here.

A new report from the UCLA's Civil Rights Project puts a $35 billion price tag on school suspensions, highlighting the long-run impact of harsh school discipline policies that push students out of school and disproportionately impact students of color. The study uses national data to estimate the how 10th-grade suspensions resulted in 67,000 additional students dropping out of high school. The researchers then estimate the longterm cost to taxpayers in terms of those students being more likely to make lower wages, use public assistance and get caught up in the criminal justice system. This report is a critical piece of research for understanding the full scope of our nation's school-to-prison pipeline and why we must work to dismantle it. Read the report here.

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