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Issues & Victories

Education and Youth

ACT Won School Transportation Equity of $745,100

I believe this is an equity issue. I met with ACT this week and they told me that [school transportation] has been a problem not just for one year, not just for two years, but going back twenty, thirty, forty years.”
– Councilman Nathan Volke, R-District 3

ACT won a $745,100 restoration to the school transportation budget to fund seven jobs that will address systemic racial inequities, including overcrowding and gross inefficiencies. We brokered a truly bipartisan agreement, splitting the county council among both Democrat and Republican lines while lifting up generations of stories addressing the failings of school transit.

The Capital-Gazette filed an initial article on this action HERE
You can read our co-chair’s Op-Ed in the Capital-Gazette HERE



BUILD exceeds Turnout Quota to Win Mayor’s Commitment to School Funding

turned out 436 people from most member institutions to an action in November to demand that Mayor Young increase the school budget by $25-30M this year, $90M next year, and work with us towards the $330M needed to leverage well over $1B from state money.

Rev Foster Connors (clergy co-chair) and Rev Michael Martin of new member institution Stillmeadow Community of Faith co-chaired the action. Pastor George Hopkins led the action with framing and pinning the Mayor. BUILD leader Elizabeth Reichelt laid out the politics and
put tension on Mayor Young. As a result, BUILD won $120M over the next 2 years in increased educational funding. Father Bruce Lewandowski of Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church closed the evening with a call to action: “The last shall be first, our children.” This down-payment of an additional $90M will help us argue for Kirwan and to keep the deal, we must organize people to go to Annapolis and hold all elected officials accountable.

Baltimore Sun:  Baltimore mayor tells agencies to anticipate cuts as city prepares to fund statewide plan to improve schools

Channel 2: Mayor Young: City will provide schools with additional funding for upcoming school year

Students, Parents Lead in School Construction Justice Action

For over two years, AIM leaders across the county have worked to secure funding to renovate two long-neglected elementary schools: Burnt Mills and South Lake Elementary Schools. This year, Superintendent Smith made these two schools (the two highest poverty schools on the school construction list) his top priorities. However, we knew that wasn’t enough—we needed to show members of the Board of Education in a real way that citizens of Montgomery County support the Superintendent’s priorities.

On Tuesday, November 5, students, leaders, teachers, and staff from Burnt Mills and South Lake Elementary Schools joined together, along with other leaders from AIM, before the Board of Education to demonstrate their united commitment to securing the best education possible for the children of Montgomery County.

With over 186 in attendance to stand with Burnt Mills and South Lake, the Board of Education had to open an overflow room to accommodate our energetic support.

Students and parents from the two schools testified about what they love about their schools. Sarah, a fifth grader from South Lake, told the Board of Ed, “Every morning, Ms. King, Mr. McKinley or Ms. Levy stop by my classroom to say good morning which makes us feel special.” For Gabriella from Burnt Mills, she loves that she has “great friends who stand up for me.”

Nevertheless, the physical facilities of these two schools are inadequate, in stark contrast to the warm community and excellent education found there.

A parent from South Lake asked the Board, “Did you know that we have only 3 girls and 3 boys bathrooms to serve all 897 students?”

A parent from Burnt Mills posed another question: “Kids have to eat lunch as late as 2pm because the cafeteria is way too small to accommodate the number of students in Burnt Mills. We are all aware that some of these kids do not get regular meals at home. How are they expected to concentrate in school on a hungry stomach?”

Gabriella reported, “In the room where I wrote this speech, the air conditioner was being held together with tape and propped up on boards. There is not central heating or air. Tiles were falling off the wall and there were tables and chairs and boxes on both sides of the hallway because there’s not enough storage.”

By showing up and standing together in support of new school construction for two of the highest-poverty schools in Montgomery County, the students and parents of Burt Mills and South Lake Elementary Schools demonstrated to the Board of Education their very real commitment to securing the best education possible for their children.

The message was received loudly and clearly: Montgomery County residents support Superintendent Smith’s commitment to school construction justice for Burnt Mills and South Lake. Our students deserve better!

Orange County Justice United Wins Budget Support to Increase Teacher Diversity

Justice United members take action to win funds for diversity hiring.
Justice United won $156,000 in line item budget support from the Orange County Board of Education for a best practices strategy to increase teacher diversity within the school district where African American teaching staff is at a 10 year low. Read more in the Herald Sun

Jersey City Together decries schools funding crisis, secures $7 million in commitments

Bill Young from Jersey City Together questions Interim Superintedent Franklin Walker with Jyl Josephson

200 parent & faith leaders gathered in Jersey City on March 19th to press the interim superintendent and school board president to address the schools funding crisis head on and move the school system forward towards a world class district. This included demands to address lead in the water (the mayor pledged his support for this the day after the action as well), increasing per pupil funding, funding for social workers, counselors, and community schools, and additional funding through a reasonable tax increase. The initial budget includes these priorities, but the budget will not be finalized until May 2019.

Virginia Governor Makes Good on Commitment to VOICE, Proposes $36 Million to Fund Additional School Counselors

Governor Northam attended VOICE’s 1,358-person non-partisan accountability action on Oct. 22st
In addition to a raise in teacher salaries announced December 10th, Governor Northam is also proposing to allocate $36 million to fund additional school counselors for school divisions across the Commonwealth. This announcement comes on the heels of Governor Northam’s commitment to 1,358 VOICE leaders at the October 21st VOICE State Action that he would work with VOICE on a multi-year strategy to increase the school counselor-to-student ratio back to 1:250, which would cost $90M.

Durham Public School Board Hires Three New Bilingual Interpreters and Pledges to Improve Communication with Growing Spanish-speaking Community

Over 450 immigrants and their allies attend action with Durham Public School Board
Durham CAN demanded and won the hiring of three bilingual interpreters to serve the growing Spanish-speaking community. Over 25 percent of the student body at Durham Public Schools speaks a language other than English. Parents and students have trouble communicating with teachers, principals and counselors. The Durham Public Schools’ new Strategic Plan reflects additional hiring goals over the next five years. The announcement was made at a public action attended by over 450 immigrants and their allies.

Maryland IAF Wins Commitments from State Delegates and Senators to Fully Fund Maryland Schools

Youth leaders share their experiences attending Baltimore City Schools.
Maryland is fighting to lead the country by giving public schools the resources they need. The Kirwan Commission, which brings together representatives from across Maryland to make recommendations for improving education in the state, is set to issue a once-in-a-generation plan for fully funding schools - a $3 Billion increase across the state if it passes and gets funded in the 2019 legislative session.
The Maryland Industrial Areas Foundation (MD-IAF) [People Acting Together in Howard (PATH), Action in Montgomery (AIM), and Baltimoreans United In Leadership Development (BUILD)] targeted Maryland legislators with a week of action to gain commitments to pass and fully fund the Kirwan Commission recommendations.
MD IAF Week of Action kicked off with 65 BUILD leaders at "Truth 101" with Baltimore City Public Schools Chief of Staff Alison Perkins-Cohen. Leaders and Ms. Perkins-Cohen set the record straight on the truth behind Baltimore City's funding, and made sure every person in the room could go back to their schools, neighborhoods, and houses of faith to become truth-tellers about Baltimore City School Funding.
The rest of the week in Baltimore, Howard County, and Montgomery County, actions at local schools and churches turned out 400 leaders at six actions. At all Baltimore City actions, youth leaders made the direct asks of their elected officials and shared their experiences in Baltimore City Schools, emphasizing the need for mental health professionals and counselors in schools, particularly when students are in crisis and there is no one for them to talk to. Twelve State Delegates and Senators and three candidates committed to work with MD IAF to fully fund the recommendations of the Kirwan Commission.

BUILD leaders sharing the truth behind Baltimore City’s school funding with BCPS Chief of Staff Alison Perkins-Cohen.

Jersey City Together Push Adds $5.3 Million for Schools

Jersey City Together leaders fight for “banked cap” to be included in school board budget, providing an additional $5.3 million for schools.

At a time when Jersey City schools are $100 million underfunded every year ($3,250 per student), Jersey City Together research uncovered an opportunity that would allow the school board to add an additional $5.3 million in local tax revenue by using its "banked cap." Jersey City Together organized parents from across the city to pressure the school board "not to leave money on the table" when the district was threatening layoffs and many schools don't have access to working water fountains. On May 7th, the Jersey City Board of Education passed their 2018-2019 budget including the full banked cap as part of it. The board credited Jersey City Together's research & organizing with making this happen and with bringing the "banked cap" to their attention. Jersey Journal article.

Get Out The Vote Effort Launched in Durham as Leaders Take Action to Increase Bilingual Personnel in Schools

450 Latino Leaders and allies met at Duke Memorial United Methodist Church in Durham with Candidates for School Board and Sheriff. 
On May 6th the NC Congress of Latino Organizations and Durham CAN launched a get out the vote effort after 450 Latino leaders and allies negotiated and won agreements with candidates for Durham Public School Board and Sheriff .
Latino leaders uncovered the lack of bilingual personnel in a School District where 30% of the student population is Latino.  None of the counselors in the 53 schools of the District are bilingual.  On average, each interpreter serves more than one thousand families.  All candidates for school board agreed to invest in the hiring of at least two additional interpreters as well as to back their proposal to the superintendent and his promise to introduce a five year public hiring plan to deal with the critical shortage of bilingual personnel.

See short video HERE.


VOICE Victorious in Keeping Fairfax County Public Schools Accountable to Honoring Muslim Holidays, Wins Options for Muslim Students Taking Standardized Testing During Ramadan

VOICE leaders at May 2017 action where Fairfax County Public Schools committed to honoring Muslim and Jewishholidays.
VOICE leaders received notification from Fairfax County Public Schools regarding student end-of-the-year standardized testing. Fairfax County Schools will allow all Muslim families with children fasting for Ramadan to take their standardized tests before the designated testing timeframe, which would be prior to the start of Ramadan. 
Schools have also made available to parents the option for students to take their tests during the designated school testing period, but with a request for students to take their tests in the early morning when children have better energy levels. This victory follows VOICE’s demands that Fairfax and Prince William Counties honor Muslim and Jewish holidays by issuing new regulations that student absences related to the celebration of religious holidays would not affect attendance records. The two counties also committed to avoiding testing and major school events during those holidays as well.

BUILD Victory Restores $2.58 Million in Cuts to After-School Programs

On June 7th, BUILD won the restoration of $2.58 million in cuts to Baltimore City after-school and community school programs.  The BUILD One Baltimore campaign began in 2015 with jobs, safety, and youth program funding demands. Every major Mayoral candidate – including then candidate Pugh – agreed to these demands at the largest Baltimore City mayoral candidate accountability forum in March 2016.

When Mayor Pugh reneged on her promise to retain funding for after-school programs, BUILD, along with the No Boundaries Coalition and the Baltimore Youth Organizing Project (BYOP), confronted the Mayor at a youth-led action attended by hundreds of youth and supportive adults. When she refused to meet demands, BUILD stepped up the pressure by securing unanimous commitment from City Council members to make cuts to the Mayor’s budget to force her to restore money to the school budget.  Halfway through the June 7th youth-led hearing before the Council budget committee attended by hundreds, Council President Jack Young announced that negotiations had ended with the Mayor agreeing to restore the funding.

GCC Victorious Following Action with CEO of Cleveland Schools

In May GCC held a 125-person "Listen, Act, Win" action with Cleveland Schools CEO Eric Gordon at JFK High School about GCC's 2017 education agenda.  Victories from the action include: John F. Kennedy Eagle Academy and PACT, with an estimated total of 650 students, will have full after-school programming with arts, music and athletics; trauma teams will be created for John F. Kennedy Eagle and PACT schools to deal with issues like the opioid crisis and street violence; and the Downtown Education Center, the school inside the juvenile detention facility, will now be able to provide summer learning for approximately 220 students.

LCU Acknowledged for Increasing Access to Quality Education

LEARN President and CEO, Greg White, formally acknowledge and thanked Lake County United (LCU) for their role in laying the ground work for community support that led to the authorization of LEARN 9 in Waukegan IL.  LEARN Charter Network has 10 schools with 4,100 students (88% are low-income).  Each of the established schools exceed state standards.

BUILD Secures $70 million Commitment for Baltimore City Schools Funding Gap

In alliance with principals and schools across the City, BUILD won an additional commitment of $10 million in funding, bringing the total to $70 million BUILD has organized to close the $130 million gap in school funding.

Baltimore City Council President Jack Young, along with 11 other city council representatives, announced the additional commitment of $10 million at a BUILD and Baltimoreans for Educational Equity action of 900 parents, teachers and principals. The week prior, BUILD stood with principals of 50 city schools along with teachers and parents in actions outside City Hall and at the next night’s school board meeting to demand that all parties negotiate a solution to completely close the gap over the next 3 years until the next funding formula change. From this organized pressure, BUILD also helped influence the Mayor and State Legislature to secure an additional $60 million in city and state funding to help fix the gap.


Media coverage:


In the News

New Jersey Together presses for leadership on education funding

Monday, February 10, 2020
New Jersey Together

Over 60 New Jersey Together's leaders pressed the Jersey City Board of Education to lead when it comes to education funding.  In the last ten years, Jersey City Public Schools have gone from almost fully funded to $125 million underfunded each year. The impact of this underfunding has been incredibly concrete -- our leaders have heard repeated stories of lost reading programs, lost counselors, lost crisis intervention teachers & assistant principals, and more than 150 teachers lost!

NJT's Education Team crunched the numbers and is pressing for $50 million more to be invested in & in support of classrooms next year. Read about the proposal & the reasoning for these numbers HERE.

We have much further to go before the budget is passed by the Board of Education, and there will need to be additional leadership from the City Council & Mayor to make this a reality and to reduce the tax impact on families.

Coverage of the January 30th action in the Jersey Journal HERE.

Check out more photos on Facebook.


BUILD's Diversity & Power on Display at March for Our Schools

Saturday, May 11, 2019

On March 11, 2019, BUILD’s Youth & Education issue action team demonstrated the diversity and power of BUILD by sending a group of 134 BUILD members to participate in the March for Our Schools rally alongside thousands of teachers, students, and parents from across Maryland.

Read about how a group of BUILD leaders trained families & teachers for this Action HERE.

First-Ever IAF “Writing for Organizers and Leaders” Workshop Held in Chicago

Friday, December 14, 2018
Metro IAF

Greg Pierce, publisher of ACTA Publications in Chicago and long-time IAF leader and organizer
Do we have to “love” writing to do it well, or can we write well just because it needs to be done? 
This was one of the first questions fourteen active IAF leaders and organizers grappled with during a two-day intensive immersion workshop led by long-time IAF leader/organizer Greg Pierce, the publisher of ACTA Publications in Chicago. The sessions were filled with lots of specific tips on things like: getting started; recognizing great first and last lines; picking the best adjectives, adverbs, and verbs; editing multiple drafts and welcoming editing by others; collaborative writing; and finishing and publishing a piece. 
Much of the training centered on how to make our writing “persuasive,” which is the opposite of “argumentative.” This takes “sweetness, which is the Greek origin of the word persuade,” Pierce pointed out. “That means our writing must be relational, vulnerable, passionate, humorous, provocative, disinterested, and powerful…all at the same time.” The group spent a lot of time discussing how leaders and organizers must be able to tell well-crafted stories as examples of what they are trying to persuade others to do.
The participants committed to disciplining themselves to make time to write and to share what they write with one another. They promised to teach what they learned with those in their organizations and recommended the workshop be held again at other times and in other locales.
From the Organizers:
“…a transformative experience.” Keisha Krumm, Lead Organizer, Common Ground, Milwaukee
“The workshop was deeply invigorating…a true time of joy.” Perry Perkins, Organizer, Mississippi and Louisiana IAF
“I found it incredibly insightful and agitational.” Rev. Alison Dunn-Almaguer, Organizer, Washington Interfaith Network (WIN)
For information on the next “Writing for Organizers and Leaders” workshop, contact Greg Pierce at Several insightful books written by IAF leaders and organizers—including Ed Chambers, Mike Gecan, Ernesto Cortes, Jonathan Lange, Amy Vruno, Ben Gordon, Timothy Tilghman, —have been published by ACTA Publications and can be ordered from or 800-397-2282.

Jersey City Together Continues Push for Equity in Affordable Housing, Gun Safety and Education

Friday, December 14, 2018
Jersey City Together
More than 500 Jersey City Together (JCT) leaders came together to call for increased action by the city and state’s elected officials to address affordable housing, gun safety and education. Stories were shared by leaders of terrible conditions they face daily. A high school student shared that school funding was so short, it couldn’t fix a broken sink that fell off a wall. Another resident shared how she catches at least 17 mice in her apartment each night. Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop committed to continuing his partnership with JCT to address community issues, and JCT plans to meet with both Governor Phil Murphy and state Attorney General Gurbir Grewal in January of 2019.
Photo by Corey W. McDonald, The Jersey Journal
Photo by Corey W. McDonald, The Jersey Journal

A Spotlight on Meryl Paskow, a VOICE Leader Fighting for School Commitment to Honoring Muslim and Jewish Holidays in Virginia

Monday, May 21, 2018
Meryl attends Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation in Reston, VA.
"The most meaningful thing to me this past year has been working to make the Fairfax County school superintendent’s promise to VOICE to accommodate students’ obligations on Jewish and Muslim holidays a reality. I’ll never forget the look on the assistant superintendent’s face at the first Fairfax County School’s Calendar Committee meeting I attended when I spoke up without hesitation about the Muslim holidays — apparently they had never had a Jewish parent do that before. The School Board had no idea how serious we are in VOICE about standing for the whole. It is because we do this that we are successful in building strong relational power to win on the issues that are most important to us — like honoring our holidays. It has been amazing to work on this issue alongside VOICE leaders of different faiths and I am proud to be a part of this team effort.”

LI-CAN Launches Opioid Fight

Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Long Island Congregations and Neighborhoods

1300 people jammed a high school gym on Long Island on April 26 to launch LI-CAN's campaign on the opioid crisis.  Concrete pledges of action were made by 23 congregations, 6 public school districts, and 207 high school students as part of LI-CAN's Covenant to End the Opioid Epidemic.  At its next major event, in October, LI-CAN will ask corporate and political leaders to make specific contributions to help end an epidemic that claimed 493 lives on Long Island in 2016.  Days after the event, LI-CAN leaders stood with Sen. Charles Schumer to applaud Schumer’s push for new federal legislation to help stem the flow of deadly fentanyl into the U.S.


Manhattan Together & South Bronx Churches: Fighting for a Better Special Education Data System in NYC

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

On March 19th, over 400 Manhattan Together (MT) and South Bronx Churches (SBC) leaders gathered with New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer to push the City Government for action to improve their broken Special Education data system and to push for more repairs in the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) apartments. The Comptroller also promised to work together to expand programs for children with Autism and ensure new potential funding for NYCHA is paired with accountability to make sure the money helps tenants.  

New leaders also presented the organizations' campaigns on immigration and homelessness. So far in 2017, MT and SBC have held two legal clinics and four know your rights sessions, connecting with over 500 immigrants and their families. New immigrant leaders who have come forward through these sessions are helping to shape our April 30th Action with NYPD Commissioner O'Neill and work beyond that.

The Assembly was covered by the New York Daily News, 1010 Wins, and The Villager.

GBIO's Work Helps Launch New STEM Academy

Thursday, April 3, 2014
The Boston Globe

For the first time in more than a decade, Boston is about to embark on constructing a school, potentially kicking off a new era for a school system that has long struggled to bring projects to fruition.

...It took an incredible amount of tenacity for the Dearborn and its supporters, including the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization and the Trinity Episcopal Church in Copley Square, to make their dream a reality. The project has evolved from a renovation to an entirely new building and is credited for helping save a school on the brink of closure.

At one monumental meeting in April 2010 that drew hundreds, organizers called in the mayor, superintendent, head of the school building authority, and the state treasurer to make commitments to the new school. Two years later, when the project was waning once again, organizers pressed the officials to promise a groundbreaking by spring 2014.

“This is very exciting and concrete and people understand we are moving along,” said the Rev. Liz Walker, pastor of the Roxbury Presbyterian Church. “People who have not known how to trust are learning now to trust promises and their own potential.”


Amid Debate Over Pre-K, Kindergarten Could Be Lost

Thursday, February 20, 2014

As anybody who reads local papers knows, there is an important political contest taking place in New York politics. The mayor and governor are arguing how to fund a full expansion to universal pre-kindergarten (UPK). Each side is holding firm, making moves, counter moves. The resolution of this conflict is important, not just for the game of politics between New York’s governor and New York City’s mayor, but for the future of all of New York State’s children. While we are waiting for this game of thrones to continue, it’s important to pose two questions to the state’s key players in this debate that remain, in our mind, unanswered.

The first is for Governor Cuomo and Assembly Speaker Silver. While the mayor and governor are focused on a universal full-day pre-k plan, the governor and Legislature have failed to plug another hole: protecting access in the state to kindergarten. That’s right. New York State is one of only eight states in the nation that does not guarantee kindergarten to all of its families. When districts’ budgets get tight, as they did two years ago, school districts in lower income communities all across the state consider cutting back to half-day kindergarten. Some did, and some threatened to eliminate kindergarten all together. With costs rising and revenues shrinking, the temptation to reduce or eliminate kindergarten will only grow.

School facilities bill grew from grass roots

Monday, May 20, 2013
Baltimore Sun


Michael Dresser got it right in describing the trajectory of the Baltimore school facilities bill as going from "non-starter to law," but the story goes far beyond the elected and appointed officials who worked hard to make the deals and shepherd the legislation to passage ("City schools bill a political showpiece," May 17).

The deeper story must include the herculean efforts of the Baltimore Education Coalition (BEC), the innovative policy advocacy work done by the ACLU of Maryland and the powerful community organizing of groups like BUILD and Child First. Our elected officials don't do this by themselves. They were propelled to act by the incredible urgency and public will created by the BEC. BEC made the problem of broken-down, substandard schools real, laid out a vision for a solution and created the imperative so elected officials had to act.

Promises to keep: Seven mayoral candidates make school reform pledges, and many are underwhelming

Sunday, March 3, 2013
New York Daily News

At the mayoral forum sponsored last week by the Daily News and the Metro IAF citizens organization, Bill Thompson got to the heart of why we pressed the candidates to detail plans for the schools. He asked: “What defines success, not just in four years, each year. The chancellor and mayor need to be held accountable for that. We need to put that forward.” With very mixed success, the seven-member field attempted to accomplish that goal in front of an audience of about 1,000 New Yorkers gathered at Manhattan’s Central Synagogue.

Supporters of Cleveland Schools levy rally voters ahead of November election

Tuesday, October 2, 2012
ABC News Channel 5

CLEVELAND - Supporters of the levy for Cleveland Public Schools are warning against laying off teachers, and a potential $50 million deficit. Over the weekend in an east side church basement, mothers, grandmothers, grandfathers and concerned citizens met up for a voter registration drive. This group is part a coalition of local churches, synagogues and mosques in Cleveland trying to get voters to pass the Cleveland Municipal School District's levy on the November ballot.

Call for Mandatory Kindergarten

Thursday, July 26, 2012
Fox News NY

Kindergarten is not mandatory in New York State with New York City being the exception. Many parents are concerned including Jessica Cruz, mother of three, as is Adam Barbanel-Fried from the community based organization 'Westchester United.'

City Council gives preliminary OK to bottle tax hike

Saturday, June 16, 2012
The Baltimore Sun

An increase to Baltimore's bottle tax — the linchpin of Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's plan to raise funds to renovate the city's decrepit school buildings — received preliminary approval from the City Council Monday, likely assuring the measure will become law.  The legislation would raise the tax on bottled beverages from 2 cents to 5 cents in July 2013. Supporters hailed the tax increase as a key step toward the biggest overhaul of city schools in decades.

Openness is key to Cleveland school reform

Friday, April 27, 2012
Cleveland Plain Dealer

Greater Cleveland Congregations supports the legislation agreed upon by Mayor Frank Jackson and the Cleveland Teachers Union to reform the Cleveland School District, and urges the Ohio General Assembly to pass it in its current form.

Clergy, children protest cuts to city after-school programs

Friday, March 30, 2012
The Baltimore Sun

Religious leaders joined hundreds of children and parents in a march around Baltimore's Inner Harbor on Thursday afternoon to protest Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's proposed budget cuts to after-school programs.  "Our children are our jewels, not the Inner Harbor," Bishop Douglas Miles, co-chair of Baltimoreans United in Leadership Development, said in front of the Baltimore Convention Center as children and parents cheered.

Tutoring services offered at MPS lack a progress report

Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Providers of after-school tutoring services mandated for low-income students in underperforming Milwaukee Public Schools receive millions of dollars in taxpayer funds but operate under limited oversight and with little accountability for results, according to a report released Monday.  The tutoring, which can cost nearly $2,000 in federal dollars per child, is not reaching as many students as it could, and it's difficult to tell whether the students served are making academic gains as a result, a report by Common Ground says.

Multifaith coalition urges Cleveland schools to restore programs

Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Cleveland Plain Dealer

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- In its first major public action, Greater Cleveland Congregations, a newly formed coalition of churches, synagogues and mosques, is calling on the Cleveland school district to restore programs recently cut to save money.

Group Organizes Litmus Test For 4 Mayoral Candidates

Friday, August 26, 2011
Baltimore NBC WBAL TV

A candidates forum sponsored by Baltimore City's oldest and largest faith-based organization drew four candidates on Thursday.  

Baltimore Education Coalition fights planned cuts to education budget

Thursday, February 10, 2011
Baltimore Brew

Looming state budget cuts directed at Baltimore city’s school are facing strong resistance from the  Baltimore Education Coalition, a group of non-profits, churches and schools planning a major rally in Annapolis on February 28th.

The group’s main message is that, despite the way Gov. Martin O’Malley’s budget was initially framed, it does represent a significant slashing of the city’s school budget.

Clergy members push for education reforms

Saturday, May 9, 2009
Columbus Dispatch

Clergy members from three Ohio cities urged the governor and lawmakers today to fix the school-funding system, saying they have a moral obligation to ensure that students in poor communities have the same opportunities as those in wealthier areas. "Our overreliance on property taxes has left too many students - especially in urban and rural districts - with an inadequate education," said Sam Gresham, co-chairman of Faith Vote Columbus, a coalition of churches, neighborhood organizations and labor unions...

Under mayor's control, the schoolkids are doing all right

Sunday, February 8, 2009
NY Daily News

Contrary to both the prepackaged reports that some media outlets have produced and the myths created by the opponents of mayoral control, parents all across the city favor the mayor's role in leading the public schools. It is not news; this movement began nearly 20 years ago...

Turn it around

Saturday, February 7, 2009
Baltimore Sun

No matter how energetic he is, Andrés Alonso can't take street values out of the schools by himself. He needs the community to see that things can be better — and step up to achieve that. The day Andrés Alonso dreaded came the Friday before Thanksgiving. For his first year and a half as Baltimore schools chief, the system was showing unprecedented progress. Four decades of enrollment decline ended. Test scores were their best since the state started keeping track. The graduation rate? Up. Suspensions? Down...

After Council Balks, Bronx Schools Project Is Withdrawn

Thursday, December 7, 2006
New York Times

It is the single biggest project in the biggest school construction plan in the history of New York City: a $235 million campus of four schools, with a football field and basketball courts, to be built on old railyards in the South Bronx. Local groups that pushed for the plan cheered wildly when Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg endorsed it two years ago.

But yesterday, the project, intended as a hallmark of the mayor’s effort to improve education in neighborhoods with historically lower-performing schools, was stalled by City Council members who said they wanted to force Mr. Bloomberg to give them a greater say in school admissions rules, especially for the dozens of small high schools he has created in recent years...

Nurturing small schools without hurting big ones

Wednesday, December 1, 2004
New York Times

VIRGINIA GONZALEZ marched through the dismal drizzle of a late November morning in the South Bronx. She made her way past the bodegas, video stores and housing projects of Mott Haven, crossed over a tangle of railroad tracks, and descended into several acres of urban underbrush. Weeds stood shoulder-high. Chunks of concrete and drainpipe lay in heaps. A car chassis rusted beside chain-link fence.
"The promised land," Ms. Gonzalez announced to several companions, and she spoke with not a trace of irony...