Plan now for October 6 Walk-Ins to Reclaim our Schools

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The Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools (AROS) is linking together parents, educators, students, school staff and community members in dozens of cities across the country on October 6 as they WALK IN to support the quality public schools that all our students deserve.

The first nationally coordinated WALK-IN took place on February 17 and brought out over 35,000 participants at over 800 schools in 31 cities. In October, teachers, parents and students will walk in to schools in over 200 cities.

What are Walk Ins? Just that! Parents, Teachers and students gather out front of their school 30-45 minutes before their duty-day starts. They picket, have donuts, coffee, etc. And then they all Walk-In together. Given the never-ending attacks on public education that many of our cities endure, this provides a positive action that that says that these are our schools and our communities. It also builds solidarity among our members as they will feel the power of collective action.

Teachers, parents and students are walking in to reclaim our schools and advocate for the public schools all children deserve. But each individual city will have its own local focus or flavor. In Milwaukee, folks are fighting against the takeover and chartering of their schools. In San Diego the focus is opting out of high stakes tests. In Seattle, they’re fighting for more funding. In your city, your coalition of labor and community partners will tailor your walk-in to the issue that is right for you.

The NEA Representative Assembly passed a new business item in support of the Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools and the nationally coordinated October 6 “walk-ins”.

The complete text of NBI #1 is here:

NEA will encourage its Pre-K-12 and Higher Ed locals to affiliate or participate in AROS-Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools and NEA will support the next major AROS nationally coordinated Walk-in on October 6 with social media and media support, with internal communications that notify affiliates and locals, and within existing means–budgets, staffing–provide training and support for locals/affiliates choosing to join the event.

“Just imagine how powerful our message and echo chamber will be if hundreds of our locals, representing thousands of educators, students and families, stand up for the schools our students deserve on the same day, along with our partners,” said WEAC President Ron Martin.

Walk-ins can lift up your own local or state message or campaign, or can borrow from materials prepared in general support of great public schools for all.

Editable flyers and materials are available at http://www.reclaimourschools.org/resources.

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Participants will receive resources that include press and social media support, and access to webinars.

 

Educators, students, community members ‘walk in’ together to show support for public schools

Mitchell School in Racine held its first ever walk-in to demand the schools all students deserve.

Mitchell School in Racine held its first ever walk-in to demand the schools all students deserve.

Cooper School's walk-in for public schools.

Milwaukee Cooper School’s walk-in for public schools.

Educators, students, and community members came together Wednesday to show their support for public schools by walking into school together in a proud and public display of unity. ‘Walk-ins’ were held in dozens of Wisconsin schools, including schools in Green Bay, La Crosse, Milwaukee, Racine, Solon Springs, Onalaska, Sparta and Tomah. They were among dozens of cities throughout the country that participated.

Walk-Ins for Public Schools are a simple and powerful visual reminder of the extreme support that exists for public schools. The Walk-Ins aren’t new to Wisconsin. Last September, Wisconsin educators, parents, students and community supporters in Milwaukee and La Crosse proclaimed support for public schools by holding similar walk-ins at over a hundred schools. The event succeeded in showing the massive support that exists for public schools, stopping the Milwaukee county executive from a plan to turn a large number of public school buildings over to private schools. In the end, the executive publicly committed to supporting Milwaukee Public Schools and only one empty building was handed over to private interests.

We Are Wisconsin walked in with La Crosse Central High educators to support public schools.

We Are Wisconsin walked in with La Crosse Central High educators to support public schools.

For Milwaukee, February’s Walk-Ins for Public Schools continued the struggle to provide all students with the schools they deserve. Wisconsin has enacted public school takeover legislation and there is a new takeover commissioner who has yet to outline specific plans.

In other Wisconsin cities taking part, local public schools are reeling from massive cuts in state funding and an outflowing of millions from public school budget to instead subsidize private schools. The events are a call for public community schools that welcome and serve all children and offer excellent academics, art, music, physical education, libraries and support services including health care, before- and after-school care, tutoring and family involvement.

“Walk-Ins for Public Schools send a strong message that we love our public schools and we stand united against any attempt to turn our public schools over to private operators who don’t serve all children and are not accountable to parents, voters, or a locally elected school board,” said Kim Schroeder, a teacher and president of the Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association.

“If we’re serious about improving schools, we need to invest in the public schools that provide opportunity for all children, no matter what their ZIP codes,” said Betsy Kippers, a teacher and president of the Wisconsin Education Association Council. “Time and again, Americans have said they prefer improving public schools to spending scare tax dollars on voucher schools or lining the pockets of independent charter schools.”

Nationwide Walk-In for Public Schools is February 17

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Dozens of Wisconsin schools will be among more than 1,000 nationally taking part this month in a very proud and public display of support for the public schools all children deserve. Green Bay, La Crosse, Milwaukee, Racine, Solon Springs and Tomah are among the over 30 cities across the nation planning events on February 17.

Join the Movement!

Walk-Ins for Public Schools are a simple and powerful visual reminder of the extreme support that exists for public schools. The Walk-Ins aren’t new to Wisconsin. Last September, Wisconsin educators, parents, students and community supporters in Milwaukee and La Crosse proclaimed support for public schools by holding similar walk-ins at over a hundred schools. The event succeeded in showing the massive support that exists for public schools, stopping the Milwaukee county executive from a plan to turn a large number of public school buildings over to private schools. In the end, the executive publicly committed to supporting Milwaukee Public Schools and only one empty building was handed over to private interests.

For Milwaukee, February’s Walk-Ins for Public Schools continues the struggle to provide all students with the schools they deserve. Wisconsin has enacted public school takeover legislation and there is a new takeover commissioner who has yet to outline specific plans.

In other Wisconsin cities taking part, local public schools are reeling from massive cuts in state funding and an outflowing of millions from public school budget to instead subsidize private schools. The events are a call for public community schools that welcome and serve all children and offer excellent academics, art, music, physical education, libraries and support services including health care, before- and after-school care, tutoring and family involvement.

“Walk-Ins for Public Schools send a strong message that we love our public schools and we stand united against any attempt to turn our public schools over to private operators who don’t serve all children and are not accountable to parents, voters, or a locally elected school board,” said Kim Schroeder, a teacher and president of the Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association.

“If we’re serious about improving schools, we need to invest in the public schools that provide opportunity for all children, no matter what their ZIP codes,” said Betsy Kippers, a teacher and president of the Wisconsin Education Association Council. “Time and again, Americans have said they prefer improving public schools to spending scare tax dollars on voucher schools or lining the pockets of independent charter schools.”

Join us! WALK IN on Wed., February 17, and be a part of history!

Community stages walk-ins to protect public education in Milwaukee

Parents, students, educators, and community members held a pro-public education rally outside the building this morning before school. Following the rally, the staff walked-in to the building together to start the day (photo credit: Mike Erdmann).

Parents, students, educators, and community members held a pro-public education rally outside the building this morning before school. Following the rally, the staff walked-in to the building together to start the day (photo credit: Mike Erdmann).

MTEA members joined with hundreds of parents, students, and community supporters this morning in more than a dozen “walk-ins” at public schools across Milwaukee. Participants vowed to protect all of our schools from a public school takeover plan being advanced by Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) and Rep. Dale Kooyenga (R-Brookfield).

About a hundred people gathered at North Division High School for the walk-in and a brief program presented by the North Division Alumni Association. Reverend Willie Brisco, president of Milwaukee Inner-City Congregations Allied for Hope (MICAH) told the crowd: “We will not stand back and let you put your hands on our children’s future in this state. We have a rich history in this school, we have a rich history in this city, and we have a rich history as a people that stands up for right…Alberta Darling does not even travel these streets. She never sets foot in these schools. We know what’s right for our community, we know what’s right for this city, and the church will stand together and we will not be deterred.”

Over 100 showed up to North Division on Friday morning for a rally and walk-in in support of public education and against the Takeover of MPS (photo credit: Joe Brusky).

Over 100 showed up to North Division on Friday morning for a rally and walk-in in support of public education and against the Takeover of MPS (photo credit: Joe Brusky).

Walk-ins were organized at 53rd Street School, Audubon Middle School, Burbank, Congress, Fairview, Fernwood, Fratney, Grant, Hamilton, Humboldt Park, Kilbourn, Lowell, Neeskara, New School for Community Service, North Division, Pierce, Project Stay and Riverside. More walk-ins are planned for next week at several Montessori schools, Story School, and South Division.

Some of the MPS schools that held a "walk-in" on Friday in response to a proposal to take over MPS.

Some of the MPS schools that held a “walk-in” on Friday in response to a proposal to take over MPS.

Participants and passersby received flyers from Schools and Communities United explaining the problems with the takeover plan:

  • The takeover plan is part of a coordinated attack to destroy public education in our city and state.
  • Handing public schools over to privately run voucher or charter schools won’t help students – especially those with the greatest needs.
  • School takeovers create more inequality. Privately run charter and voucher schools serve fewer students with special needs and fewer English language learners.
  • Turning public schools into private schools does not guarantee better student outcomes. In Milwaukee, voucher schools have been around for 25 years, and they perform no better than public schools.
  • School takeovers eliminate family-supporting jobs and have contributed to economic decline in places like New Orleans, Memphis and Detroit.
  • Parents and community members want local control of our schools. We want schools to be accountable to the elected school board.
  • Changes in governance will not provide the needed resources or support that students need.

Public school supporters are invited to attend an informational meeting co-hosted by Parents for Public Schools-Milwaukee and Milwaukee Public Schools on Monday, June 8 at 6pm at MPS Central Office, 5225 W. Vliet St.

Milwaukee Walks-In for Public Education from MTEA Union on Vimeo.

Additional photos from all 17 MPS schools can be found here.