Take Action Protect Our Public Schools

Key Actions to Support Our Public Schools through Covid-19

Wisconsin’s kids still need our advocacy NOW to protect their schools from Covid-19-related cuts. The HEROES Act is facing obstacles in the U.S. Senate, and our kids need much more federal aid than they’re being offered.

National education advocates have made it clear all spring that public schools will need a federal relief package of at least $200 billion to weather the economic crisis.

Since then, the Learning Policy Institute has found that our schools will need even more. For our kids and educators to continue meeting this challenge and emerge from the crisis with strong public schools, the federal government must include at least $230 billion for public education in Covid-19 relief.

People in power need to understand WHY our public schools need $230 billion in federal aid. 860,000 kids are counting on us.

HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO RIGHT NOW:

  1. #GoPublic with your COVID-19 story & concerns
  2. Share your concerns:
  3. With State Representatives
    • Find your State Representative and State Senator here.
  4. With the Department of Public Instruction (especially if you represent a public school district)
  5. With the Wisconsin Public Education Network
    • Fill out our survey and let others know what’s working and what’s not for your students/district/family. Only you can tell your story. It’s up to all of us to make sure the people who need to hear it, do hear it.
  6. Join the NEA and our partners across Wisconsin in demanding that Congress Take Action to Ensure that Students & Communities Rise Together by:
    • Stabilizing education funding for students in our communities’ schools and campuses;
    • Building bridges for educational opportunity for students and stronger communities; and
    • Supporting the safety, health, and well-being of students and educators.

Take action through the NEA here!

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the HEROES Act on May 15, offering $60 billion for K-12 education. This step forward is nowhere near enough for our kids: the bill faces a huge obstacle in the Senate, and our partners around the state and nation know that our public schools will need far more aid to continue supporting kids through this crisis and beyond.

Milwaukee Public Schools Legislative Policy Manager Chris Thiel has said that we must demand at least $230 billion in federal aid to K-12 education as the economy struggles:

“At the moment, we have a dramatically worse fiscal crisis than in 2008/2009 – a dramatically more difficult educational landscape with increased costs within a sustained public health emergency, and dramatically less federal stabilization funding being provided to schools.

This is a formula for incredible cuts to education that will damage the economy overall and, more importantly, needlessly damage the prospects of a generation of students. A federal package of at least $230 billion will be needed for K-12 education in order to protect and support students.

  • The COVID-19 Recession could be 2 to 3 times worse for education than the “Great Recession.”
  • At the worst point in the last recession (2010) education revenue decreased by 8.6%.
  • Current estimates for this downturn range from 15% to 30%.
  • Federal support must be sufficient to stabilize education budgets over the next 18 months – and maybe up to 5 years.
  • The total impact of increased costs and lost revenue is estimated to cost the Wisconsin State Education budget nearly $3.6B.”

This is why we need to take action together.

Many fellow advocates have taken actions already. If you want help telling your story or communicating your demands, follow these examples as templates for your advocacy!

ACTION TEMPLATES

Our Virtual Town Hall , where Jill Underly and Michael Griffith of the Learning Policy Institute were two of several inspiring speakers, opened our eyes to the amazing things our educators, families, and communities have done to meet the Covid-19 challenge with ingenuity and grace. Our full Town Hall Action Resource Toolkit contains videos and more resources, and the questions that remain.

860,000 kids are counting on us. Stand together to support their public schools!

About the author: Wisconsin Public Education Network

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