| The Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools Newsletter May 1, 2019
Welcome to our May 1st newsletter! As always, share the latest stories from your city or state with us on Twitter and Facebook. Don’t forget to tell your friends and colleagues to sign up for our newsletter here.
10,000 South Carolina Teachers, Supporters March on the Statehouse
Some 10,000 teachers and supporters assembled on a school day Wednesday in South Carolina’s state capital to protest, march and speak for improved working conditions.
The turnout matched one of the largest Statehouse crowds in recent memory. About 10,000 also turned out in 2015 to watch the Confederate flag being removed from the grounds. If there was one slogan that summed up the frustrations and aspirations of the day it was a chant that teachers repeated again and again, thundering at the base of the Statehouse steps: “We teach. We vote.”
The teachers, organized by the teacher advocacy group SC for Ed under the social media hashtag #AllOutMay1, have been asking the Republican-controlled state Legislature for higher wages, smaller classroom sizes, more mental health counselors in schools and full funding of the state’s promises to students. Read more here.
ON STRIKE!!! Teachers at 3 Chicago Charter Schools Go on Strike
Educators at three Chicago charter schools went on strike Thursday in what’s billed as the nation’s first protest against multiple charter operators.
About 80 educators and support staff took to the pickets lines, including at the Instituto Health Sciences Career Academy, 2520 S. Western Ave. Teachers say they have been negotiating since October. Teachers are on strike at IHSCA and the Instituto Justice Leadership Academy, both run by Instituto del Progreso Latino, and Latino Youth High School, which is run by Pilsen Wellness Center.
The union reached a contract agreement overnight with the Chicago High School for the Arts. And a fifth school, Youth Connection Leadership Academy, reached an agreement with its teachers late Wednesday afternoon. Read more here.
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As Black people in the United States, every right that we have is a direct result of community organizing. Community organizing is the people directly impacted by an problem, strategizing and building power to win policy change or resources to improve their quality of life. The ON THE GROUND podcast centers effective grassroots community organizers to share their wisdom on the artistic science of organizing. We will also bring music, soundtracks to the struggle into the podcast. Community organizing is not activism. Subscribe by clicking here.
THE GOOD FIGHT: Palm Beach Community and Educators Continue Fight for Public School Funding
Palm Beach County teachers, parents and community members refuse to give up their fight for funding. On Wednesday, more than a hundred teachers and staff from various schools throughout the county packed the regularly scheduled school board meeting to make sure their voices were heard.
In November more than 72 percent of Palm Beach County voters approved a referendum to raise taxes for school security and teacher pay. The language on the ballot specified that money would not be shared with charter schools, which are private managed but considered public schools under state law. However, the Florida House recently passed a bill, HB 7123, that would require the district to share the money with charter schools. Read more here.