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NEA News

Issues and Impact Summer 2018

Educators and allies fighting for public schools
Published: June 2018

Key Takeaways

  1. Here are 3 easy ways to get election ready.
  2. Share an NEA social justice image on social media, and engage others in an issue you care about.
  3. Dwayne Hancock, building manager at Esperanza Middle School in Annapolis, talks about how he became a effective activist

3 Easy Ways to Get Election Ready

  1. Read Up! Check out the election coverage at, and sign the election pledge. Subscribe to the EdVotes weekly email.
  2. Connect with Your State Affiliate! Sign up for emails, and follow your affiliate on social media.
  3. Start a Dialogue! Talk to family and friends about the issues at stake, and the candidates who support public schools.


sample art graphics

Share an NEA social justice image on social media, and engage others in an issue you care about. Find these images and more at To help others learn more and take action, be sure your post includes the EdJustice link and a relevant hashtag.

Put Your Boots on the Ground

Dwayne Hancock, Building Service manager, Esperanza Middle School, Lexington Park, Maryland 

NEAWhat inspired you to help organize members and march in the streets of Annapolis?

DW: Several years ago, voters decided to legalize casino gambling and use the revenue to increase public education funding. But we discovered that money was supplanting existing education funding, not adding to it. That’s why we launched the Fix the Fund campaign, to set it right by amending the state constitution through a ballot measure to make sure the revenue truly goes to increasing school funding. I marched for the education support professionals and teachers who are working more than one job, for all the students who are sitting in classes of 35 students and more and getting lost in the shuffle because their classes are just too large. I marched to make sure all students have the same opportunities to learn and be successful. It was particularly satisfying to have so many colleagues who are not usually active and members of the community join us. The Senate passed the bill while we were up there that night, and it was eventually passed by the House. Next the voters will have their say.

What’s next in your activism?

Now we are working to educate voters about the constitutional amendment on the ballot in November. As much as $500 million in additional funding is at stake for the students of Maryland.

What do you say to people who argue that public schools have enough funding? I explain that students need more than they ever have. They need more wraparound services, including psychologists, counselors, mental health supports. We need more paraprofessionals to support the classroom, more teachers to lower class sizes, and we definitely need universal preK to get all our kids off to a good start.

How have you been involved in your association?

My building rep invited me to join in 2013 – 2014. I have served on my local negotiating, legislative, and budget committees, and on the board of directors. I got a fresh dose of inspiration attending the national NEA ESP Conference and the NEA Leadership Conference.

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National Education Association

Great public schools for every student

The National Education Association (NEA), the nation's largest professional employee organization, is committed to advancing the cause of public education. NEA's 3 million members work at every level of education—from pre-school to university graduate programs. NEA has affiliate organizations in every state and in more than 14,000 communities across the United States.