Wednesday, April 08, 2015

100+ Labor, Education, Community Groups Representing More Than 7M People Call On Congress To Reject ESEA Proposal

For Immediate Release: April 8, 2015
Contact: Madison Donzis,, 210.488.6220
100+ Labor, Education, Community Groups Representing More Than 7M People Call On Congress To Reject ESEA Proposal
Alliance To Reclaim Our Schools Address Consequences of the ESEA in Letter to Boehner and McConnell; Demand Revisions to the Act
On Wednesday, April 8th, the Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools (AROS)—a coalition of parents, students, educators and community members—issued a letter to Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader McConnell, calling on them to reject the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) in its current form. Among other changes, the group is calling for $20 billion in funding for Title I, an amount they say is closer to what is needed than either the current House proposal of $14.4 billion or the President’s budget request of $15.4 billion.
The letter, signed by more than 100 groups, details recommendations for revisions to the Act that was originally written to address the impacts of poverty and discrimination in schools attended by the nation’s poorest children. Signatories on the letter come from organizations representing more than 7 million people.
“The only way to give every child some educational justice is through publicly funded, equitable and democratically controlled public schools,” said Jitu Brown, the National Director of Journey for Justice, an AROS member. “We believe that the federal government plays a critical role in ensuring that opportunity.”  
The group’s letter states, “As the reauthorization moves through Congress, we hope that you, as Congressional Leaders, will listen to the priorities of students, parents, and educators over the well-funded special interests who prioritize profits over real strategies to create the schools that all our children deserve. We hope that you will hear our voices as you move forward with reauthorization of ESEA.”
The groups signing the letter include Alliance for Educational Justice, Journey for Justice Alliance, American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association, Center for Popular Democracy, Service Employees International Union, Gamaliel Network, The Opportunity to Learn Campaign and more than 100 community, youth, civil rights and labor groups across the country.
See the letter here:
The letter to Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader McConnell offered AROS’ demands for ESEA reform:
·       $1 billion dedicated to support the transformation of 5,000 high poverty schools into Sustainable Community Schools;
·       A moratorium on federal funding for the creation or expansion of charter schools, and increased regulation on charters to strengthen quality and oversight;
·      An allocation of at least $20 billion this year for Title I, which targets additional funding to high poverty schools. The group is demanding that Congress fully fund Title I within ten years, and points to the original goal of the law to offer an additional 40% per student above state average per pupil spending, targeted specifically at high poverty schools;
·      $500 million to provide training, staffing and supports to schools working to fully implement restorative justice and/or other programs to end the school-to-prison pipeline.     
The Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools is a national coalition of organizations working to strengthen public education and counter-act the effects of two decades of corporate-led reform efforts on high poverty schools and communities.
The Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools (AROS) is a national coalition representing more than 7 million Americans who attend and work in public schools, and live in the communities most impacted by the ESEA.


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