NEA Members Across the Country Fight to Protect School Funding
The greenbacks are coming! The greenbacks are coming!
At least, they’re supposed to be.
Faced with layoffs across the economy, the President and Congress passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that included some $130 billion for education, much of it intended to stop layoffs.
But there are many hazards along the road from the White House and the Capitol to the schoolhouse.
The path leads through state and district offices, where some governors and other officials may want to grab school dollars for other purposes.
In many states, quiet lobbying is all it takes to protect the money.
But in others, educators have taken to the Web, the airwaves, and the streets to warn of the danger to education and encourage politicians to use all available resources to stop layoffs and let students and educators continue their work.
- The California Teachers Association organized "Pink Friday" to dramatize layoffs that are devastating the lives of both educators and kids. "Oh my God. My english teacher is the nicest, bubbliest person you will ever meet. [and she] got a pink slip. I hate today :/" one girl wrote to their web site. Educators wore pink and encouraged legislators and the community to protest the layoffs and invest in education.
- In Florida, more than 2,400 educators, parents, and students rallied to protest education cuts and call for a three-year, one-penny sales tax increase that would go to boost school funding. Demonstrators brought 2.6 million pennies to the rally, one for each student.
- Idaho educators sported band-aids and crutches for a week in March as part of a "No Cuts to Education" campaign. They aim to stop the governor's proposed 9.4% cut to education spending, which would leave $40 million of federal recovery funds untouched.
- In Oregon, over 5,000 rallied at the state Capitol on Presidents' Day to urge legislators to mitigate funding cuts.
- At Georgia’s legislative conference, Georgia Association of Educators rallied in protest of the governor’s plan to cut incentive pay for National Board Certified Teachers, cut funding for school nurses, and support vouchers.
- In Pennsylvania, educators are fighting the closing of the Scotland School for Veterans’ Children and the Scranton School for the Deaf. Funding for the two schools was cut from the state budget.
- Faced with the threat of salary cuts, educators in Delaware gave "community dollars" to local shopkeepers to dramatize the impact that such cuts would have on their ability to spend real cash.
- And the Nebraska State Education Association took their message to the public with a TV ad calling for investment in public education.