Saturday, May 25, 2019

State legislative wins bring fresh hope for students and educators + #RedForEd Rallies Step Up Pressure on Lawmakers to Take Action on Funding - Education Votes

State legislative wins bring fresh hope for students and educators - Education Votes

State legislative wins bring fresh hope for students and educators

By Amanda Menas and Amanda Litvinov
The conversation about public education is changing in statehouses across the country. The assumption that schools must operate in austerity—and that struggling schools should be punished—no longer prevails.
After more than a decade of deep education cuts and lagging teacher salaries, a renewed commitment to public schools is emerging. What’s changed? Some states elected more pro-public education legislators in 2018. The #RedForEd movement, and a series of polls showing public support for increased investment in public schools and teacher pay, made new and veteran legislators alike take notice.
As always, these state legislative wins also required the ongoing work of dedicated NEA leaders and members asking state lawmakers to stand up for public education, and do away with systems that label and threaten public schools.
Here are a few of those victories:

New Mexico

Educators and parents fighting to strengthen public education in New Mexico set the stage for progress by electing Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and more pro-public education members to the state legislature.  Only then could the failed policies of past administrations be changed during the 2019 legislative session. There were several enormous wins for public schools.
First, the legislature increased education funding by 16 percent, which will support an CONTINUE READING: State legislative wins bring fresh hope for students and educators - Education Votes

By Tim Walker
The #RedforEd movement played a huge role in motivating voters to go to the polls and support pro-public education candidates in the 2018 mid-terms. With hundreds of new lawmakers ensconced in statehouses across the country,  educators and their allies in 2019 transferred their energies from helping candidates get elected to making sure they supported legislation to dramatically increase education funding. In four states this week – California, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Nevada –  as legislative sessions are winding down, activists ramped up the pressure on lawmakers to put an end to the era of austerity.


In a Day of Action organized by Education Minnesota, more than 400 educators from around the state converged on the Capitol Rotunda in St. Paul on May 17 to call for increased funding for their students. The legislature was in the last days of an end-of-session budget negotiation.
On this day at least, said Education Minnesota President Denise Specht, the halls of the Capitol were filled with individuals who knew better than anyone what their classrooms and schools needed.
“These people actually know the needs of students. They know their names. They know their families. They know the communities they go back to at the end of the day,” said Specht,. “It is educators like these who need to be heard in a building like this.”