OTL Campaign Newsletter 
March 20, 2013
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False Promises of the Parent Trigger

The False Promises of the "Parent Trigger"

Read more about how parent triggers divide communities from Education Opportunity Network's Jeff Bryant here.

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OTL HIGHLIGHTS

APlusNYC
Get on the Bus with Education Reform (Literally!)
A+NYC, a coalition of 45 grassroots education groups in New York City, led a bus tour this past week across the city to help community members make their voices heard in the education debate. The group put together a visual exhibit for a "new direction" for NYC public schools showcasing the classes, programs and policies that build successful public schools, and elevating the voices of the parents, students and teachers who are usually left out of these conversations. Read more>

Youth of Color Rally in DC Youth Organizers Rally for Fair School Discipline
On Monday, March 4th, youth of color from across the country held a rally on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol followed by a march to the White House to call on Congress and the Obama administration to reject school safety policies that criminalize students of color, immigrant youth, LGBTQ students and students with disabilities, and push them out of school. Read more>

Philadelphia School Closures
PA Youth Allies Respond to Vote to Close 23 Schools
Philadelphia's School Reform Commission voted to close 23 schools, many of which have been chronically underfunded and starved of the resources and opportunities they need to serve their students. Hundreds of organizers and public education advocates, including many OTL allies, staged a massive rally to protest the closures. Members of the Philadelphia Student Union, an OTL ally, released a powerful statement condemning the vote. Read more>

Padres y Jovenes Unidos
Denver: Tearing Down the School-to-Prison Pipeline
Colorado has long been at the center of the debate over school safety. There, and in many other states across the country, zero-tolerance policies were enacted that criminalized students over the slightest infractions and established a school-to-prison pipeline. Thanks to the tireless efforts of the grassroots group Padres y Jóvenes Unidos, Denver Public Schools are a big step closer to the end of excessive policing of their students.
Read more>

Youth Incarceration Rates
Youth Incarceration Rates Drop... But Not in AR
A report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation finds that "a sea change is underway in our nation's approach to dealing with young people who get in trouble with the law." Though the US still leads the industrialized world in youth incarceration rates, that rate has dropped more than 40 percent over a 15-year period. However, five states – Arkansas, Idaho, Nebraska, South Dakota and West Virginia – bucked the norm and saw an increase in youth confinement. Read more>

WI OTL
WI's Bait-and-Switch Budget is Shortchanging Kids
What started as an anemic bump in aid for Wisconsin public schools has been reduced to a pittance through politicized accounting games that are funneling desperately needed funds towards private charter schools and voucher programs. This lack of funding only exacerbates the state's broken school funding system, which has relentlessly widened the gap between the cost of quality education and the state’s share of that cost. Read more>

Resources

Campaign for Children
Funding Instability Is Top Concern for ECE and After-School Programming
Despite the wealth of research showing that early learning and after-school programs help close the achievement gap by ensuring children are prepared to start school and continue to achieve once they're there, a report from a New York OTL ally, Campaign for Children, shows how funding instability for these programs could lead to their collapse. Read more>

IN THE NEWS
  • Boston Schools End Last Remnant of Busing: The Boston School Committee voted last week to adopt a new school assingment plan aimed at allowing more students to attend schools closer to home. But the plan is drawing fire from parents and activists concerned about the lack of investments to ensure high quality schools in every community, particularly in low-income and minority neighborhoods. Read more>
     
  • AFT's Randi Weingarten in Q&A on Philly School Closure Vote: The President of the AFT was arrested in Philadelphia along with other education organizers for trying to prevent a vote to close 23 schools. In a fascinating Q&A with the Washington Post, Weingarten explains that officials ignored demands from advocates for a one-year moratorium on school closing, and so it became necessary to "resort to civil disobedience to confront an immoral act." Read more>

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National Opportunity to Learn Campaign
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