The time to take action for our public schools is now

Wisconsin Covid-19 School Stories Recap: Actions and Next Steps

Educators, experts, and advocates painted an inspiring and urgent picture of public education in Covid-19. Here’s what we need to do now.

Last week’s Virtual Town Hall was a total success thanks to everyone who participated—from the amazing panelists and presenters to the hundreds of listeners across the state. The stories we heard about what our schools face during the Covid-19 pandemic taught us a lot, inspired us with the amazing things happening around the state, and emphasized the urgent action we need to take to support our children.

We heard from superintendents and board members, policy analysts, educators and parents, from our largest cities to our smallest rural districts, and from Michael Griffith, Senior Researcher and Policy Analyst at the Learning Policy Institute. Each of them filled our hearts with the stories of kids and families adapting to difficult changes and communities coming together around public schools to fill the gaps and meet kids’ needs.

They also filled our heads with the extremely pressing concerns facing public schools as people get sick, lockdowns continue, and the economic downturn threatens disastrous cuts. This pandemic has made existing inequities worse. Mr. Griffith’s projections suggest that Wisconsin alone could stand to lose 7,000 teachers if public education does not get the significant aid it so desperately needs. There’s no time to waste in coming together around our shared goal of supporting Wisconsin kids and their public schools.

Thanks to so many concerned citizens who contributed to our shared resources in real time, the Wisconsin Public Education Network has an Action Resource Toolkit.

Included in the Action Resource Toolkit:

So What Can I Do Right Now?

Share your story where you live, with your personal network!

Share your story with federal, state and local level decision makers—starting with members of Congress! Our leaders do not know our stories unless we tell them. If we want to hold them accountable for doing the right thing, we have to make sure they know what that is—and what’s at stake. Whether you’re making a call, writing a letter, or passing a resolution, our action resource toolkit has talking points, contact information and templates you can use!

Share your story with Network partners. Take our survey so we can share what’s working and what’s needed, amplify your stories, and better tailor our advocacy efforts to what is truly needed.

We saw a lot of beautiful examples at the Town Hall of the ways our communities are coming together around our public schools to meet kids’ needs.

We also grew more concerned about the extremely pressing challenges ahead.

The time to take action is now.

About the author: Wisconsin Public Education Network

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