This Week in Education Organizing - March 25, 2016

The Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools Newsletter
  March 25, 2016

Welcome to our March 25 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.

AROS is hiring! We're looking for a national campaigns coordinator, so check out the job posting for details and send resumes to AROS National Director Keron Blair (


Show your support on April 1!
Wear red on April 1 in solidarity with
Chicago teachers! Picture via CTU.

On April 1 Chicago teachers, parents, students and community members will stand up to the continued assault on Chicago's working class people, neighborhoods and public schools. Teachers will refuse to work, closing the schools down for the day. Rallies are planned outside schools in the morning and outside public universities at 10 AM, and all will converge downtown at 4 PM. Our allies in Chicago are asking AROS partners and supporters around the country to join them in declaring that the city and its public schools are "broke on purpose." Wear red in solidarity with Chicago protesters and share pictures and messages of support on social media with #brokeonpurpose, #shutdownchi and #ReclaimOurSchools.

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.

In a column for the Times Union, Alliance for Quality Education Executive Director Billy Easton calls out policymakers in Albany, including Governor Andrew Cuomo, for failing to provide desperately needed funding for the state's public schools. With 50 percent of New York children living in poverty and a school funding system that favors wealthy communities, state officials need to step up and make sure every school has the resources they need to support every student. Read Easton's op-ed here.

Lifting All Children Up Infographic
Check out the Schott Foundation's
new infographic here.

The Schott Foundation for Public Education released a great new infographic last week that shows how our country can lift up schools weighted down by systemic inequities with either school-centric reforms (like offering wraparound supports and high-quality pre-k) or systemic reforms that tackle employment, housing, healthcare and other needs outside the classroom. Check out the full infographic here.

Success Academy is a New York City charter school network that has been in the news lately for sending students who have special needs or behavioral issues back to their neighborhood public schools. Yet Success Academy’s record of push-outs hasn’t stopped the U.S. Department of Education from giving the network over $38 million in the last six years to open new schools. AROS partners in 10 cities are researching charter push-out in their districts and the impact of push-outs on families, students and teachers. Can your district be part of this effort? Contact Leigh Dingerson at

Boston mayor meets with students
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh meets with the
students who organized the March 7 school
walk-outs. Picture via Carlos Rojas.

On Wednesday night the Boston School Committee passed a controversial budget that spares high schools from some of the worst cuts the district is making in the face of a district budget shortfall. The move comes after Boston students organized a massive walk-out earlier this month to protest proposed cuts. Students, parents, teachers and community members also attended and testified at last week's budget hearing. To help maintain high schools' funding, the district is cutting special education resources and delaying investments in other initiatives, meaning the fight for adequate school funding in Boston is far from over. Read more here and here.

Thanks to the organizing work of parents, students and teachers, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney announced this week that the district will begin implementing the community school model in 5-7 schools this fall. The City Council still needs to approve the funding for the project, but the mayor hopes to select the participating schools and hire on-site coordinators by the end of the summer. Read more 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