Posts Tagged ‘education funding’

PSAT for 2-26-13: Tell Congress no sequestration cuts to education!

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

CliffCongress and the White House are working to resolve the “sequestration” threat set up by their failure to agree on a federal budget last year. Without a budget agreement, massive across-the-board program cuts will kick in on Friday. This may include:

  • Loss of 100,000 Head Start slots.
  • Service cuts to 500,000 special needs students.
  • An end to Title 1 grants, affecting 2 million students.
  • Huge class size increases and service cuts as districts are forced to terminate tens of thousands of teachers and support staff.

PURE supports saving money by cutting ineffective and damaging programs like Race to the Top, massive new testing systems to support the Common Core, and further expansion of charter schools. We oppose cuts that harm the neediest children and communities.

What can you do? 

Call your Congressman and Senators today and make sure they support education spending – but only those programs that are supported by research, not wealthy philanthropists. E-mail them this Parents Across America fact sheet, “Research showing NCLB Doesn’t Work and PAA Positions Do.” (downloadable pdf here).

And consider signing this petition, “Do not throw our kids over the fiscal cliff; raise taxes on wealthy & cut Race to the Top instead!” by Class Size Matters and PAA co-founder Leonie Haimson.

Find more information about the sequestration including a state-by-state analysis of education and other cuts here.

PSAT for 9-6-11: Commit to valuing all children

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

Today is the traditional first day of school across the US. That tradition has eroded in many places due to so-called year-round school schedules, experiments like Paul Vallas’s short-term effort to game state tests by adding a few weeks in at the beginning of the school year, and a host of local variables.

Another tradition that seems to have eroded (if it ever truly existed) is that of valuing all children. These days, politicians and media types are boldly yammering on about “saving” some children from failing schools, allowing them to “flee” via vouchers or charter school creaming.

One Illinois politician notably explained his support for school vouchers last year by asking his fellow legislators to imagine they were on a bus driving by a body of water where children were drowning. They would have a responsibility, he said, to stop and try to help some of those children.

Some of those children??? Or, maybe more accurately, some children, but just not “those” children?

Anyway, for Public Schools Action Tuesday today, please take the time to read and share this excellent (as usual) annual letter on public schools from the United Church of Christ Witness and Justice Ministries program. If you aren’t religious, you will still find that the information is quite useful and well-researched, and the issue is appropriately placed in the larger context of our current economic and job troubles.

The overall message is that we must commit to valuing all children, and valuing them more than we value competition and profit. I’d add that we need to elect public officials who share those values….

CORE and CTU planning huge march Tuesday

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

From CORE:

Dear CORE Friends and Activists:

For weeks, CPS has been talking about their budget woes, preparing to demand concessions from our union and looking for new ways to pit teachers and parents against each other, while taking from both.

Next Tuesday two things will happen:

1.       The new Board of Education will meet and decide whether CPS can “afford” our contractual 4% raise.

2.       At the same time, the CFOs of some of the largest and most profitable corporations in the region will be meeting downtown at an invite-only summit hosted by the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber was a major supporter of “Performance Counts,” the meeting is being held at new School Board member Penny Pritzker’s Hyatt, and many of the attendees are recipients of the corporate tax loopholes, TIF dollars, and predatory bank deals that are the real causes of our schools’ budget struggles.

We are joining a protest alongside community organizations, parent groups, labor unions and activists targeting this event. These corporate cronies, bankers and billionaires have crashed our economy and taken trillions in bailout money.  They have taken homes and jobs from millions of people; and now they dodge paying taxes themselves while demanding that teachers, students and other workers take cuts to balance the budget. We are demanding that they GIVE IT BACK.


Tuesday, June 14th, 2011,  gather between 3:00 and 4:15 p.m.

City Front Plaza–Downtown

on Illinois Street, 1 block east of Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611

March will begin at 4:15 p.m.

We expect thousands people to be at this event telling the real story of why our schools are broke and what has happened to our economy. Parents, housing activists and other unions are ready to be there in our defense. This is the type of event that can show how CORE wants to build a different type of union in our schools and in our community- but we have to stand up and make this happen in a big way. Three things you can do:

1.       TURNOUT:

Please spread the word far and wide in your school and to your friends and community. If there are any materials you need, just let us know. People can let us know they are coming online at Any school that can sign up at least 25 to attend (including parents and allies) can have bus expenses reimbursed by the union. Email for more info.

2.       MARSHALS:

This is going to be an exciting action with three marches and thousands of people converging on Michigan Ave. There is a planned civil disobedience and exciting visuals to really capture the imagination and press attention. We need people to help organize and lead the event. We need at least 20 marshals to help make all of this happen! Attend a training led by experienced action planners this Saturday from 10am to 12 noon. We will get prepared for Tuesday, learn about running a major event and end by running a short CTU action at a Bank of America branch to get some hands-on experience!  To attend the marshal training, email


Help with sign/puppet/banner making – get our message out! Meet on Saturday, June 11th from 10a-2p at the UE Hall at 37 S. Ashland.  If you have any questions, email Caleb Jennings at  People will be making puppets and signs most of the day Saturday and Sunday.

Our raises, jobs, homes, and schools are on the line. We need to turn the tide on the corporate forces that put their profits before our students and our schools.

Please call if you need more info: 312-329-6226.

Rally sponsors:

Action Now * Albany Park Neighborhood Council * Arise Chicago * Brighton Park Neighborhood Council * Chicago ADAPT * Chicago Coalition for the Homeless * Chicago Jobs With Justice * Chicago Teachers Union * Grassroots Collaborative * Illinois Hunger Coalition * Kenwood Oakland Community Organization * Lakeview Action Coalition * Service Employees International Union * South Austin Coalition Community Council * Stand Up! Chicago * United Electrical Workers * Warehouse Workers for Justice

PSAT for 3-29-11: Sign PAA petition on education budget cuts

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

For Public Schools Action Tuesday today, please sign, share, Facebook and Twitter the Parents Across America petition urging President Obama and Congress not to slash education funding by as much as $11 billion (as the House is proposing), to eliminate competitive grant programs like Race to the Top, and to fully fund essential programs like special education Head Start and Title 1. will automatically send a message on your behalf to your Senators and Congressman.


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About the PURE Thoughts blogger
Julie Woestehoff is PURE's executive director. Julie's work has earned her a Ford Foundation award and recognition as one of the 100 Most Powerful Women in Chicago.