Monday, February 25, 2019

The latest from #Red4EdVA land

The last time I posted was a little over a month ago and it was about the RedforEd movement in Virginia, #Red4EdVA. The march and rally took place on Monday, January 28th, and it was an amazing event. I tweeted and retweeted lots about it, for example:

A few days later, the blackface yearbook photos from Governor Ralph Northam's yearbook surfaced, then the allegations of sexual assault against the Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax, and then Attorney General Mark Herring's admission that he, too, had worn blackface, at a college party at the University of Virginia. And a great many of us got sidelined (I also posted and tweeted a lot on that subject.)

I did manage to publish this piece about it in the Progressive:
The #Red4Ed movement has kicked off in Virginia: On January 28, as many as 5,000 public school teachers, educators, workers, parents, students, and other stakeholders marched on the Virginia state capitol in Richmond to demand fully funded public schools. The march and rally, organized by Virginia Educators United, a “grassroots campaign” of teachers, staff members, parents and community members, was one of the largest to descend on the state capitol in the last century. 
The well-organized event was supported by strategic use of social media and a user-friendly website. The group’s demands include restoring funding for education to pre-2008 recession levels, increasing teacher pay to national averages, paying education support professionals competitive wages, recruitment and retention of highly qualified teachers and more teachers of color, more funding for school infrastructure costs, and ensuring sufficient numbers of support staff like counselors and social workers. 
The day of the rally, Virginia lawmakers pledged to fund Governor Ralph Northam’s initiative to provide teachers and school staff with a five percent pay increase. This raise, however, is only for certain state-mandated positions, and localities can’t or won’t always provide the required matching funds.
You can read the whole thing here.

In the meantime, the Virginia General Assembly did pass a budget; session just ended. The VEA (Virginia Education Association) called the budget, "a first step to adequate funding." You can read their press release here.  However, many in the VEU (Virginia Educators United) group don't seem so sanguine. See this post on facebook for example:

It will be interesting to see what happens in the coming year before next year's session--if local VEA and Virginia AFT units draw more members and get more organized, if sufficient numbers decide, and are able, to take things to the next level and organize some sort of state-wide strike or work stoppage.

Monday, January 21, 2019

I proudly support RedforEd Virginia


For various reasons (which I hope to be able to blog about at some point), I am way late in getting on this bandwagon. Now that I am on it, I want everyone else to be on it, too.

RED FOR ED HAS ARRIVED IN VIRGINIA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(Can you tell I'm excited?)

I hope you will join me and other Virginia pro-public education stakeholders (and national education leaders including Randi Weingarten and Lily Eskelsen Garcia!!!) for the. . .


What: The #RedforEd March & Rally
When: Monday, January 28th, 2019 at 11:00 am
Where: Richmond, Virginia. Starts at Monroe Park (620 West Main Street) and finishes at the Virginia State Capitol (1000 Bank Street Street)
Why (from the website):
Virginia Educators United is a grassroots campaign made of teachers, staff members, parents and community members who are fighting to ensure that after 10 years of systematic defunding, our children get the support they deserve. Our goal is to ensure that students have access to highly qualified and experienced teachers, that educators are compensated fairly, and to improve the educational environment in the state of Virginia. . . . In Virginia, the time of waiting for political winds to shift in our favor is over. Our salaries languish in the lowest tier nationally, below pre-Recession levels. Overcrowded, over-tested, and under-resourced schools are crumbling under the weight of deferred maintenance and declining investment. Our children, our communities and our Commonwealth deserve better.

Red4EdVA is way more than just a one-day rally. It's a movement. And it's been a loooong time coming. I am so, so grateful to all of the Virginia educators who have organized it. For more information:

- Please check out the (excellent) website: 

- Follow social media accounts on twitter:
 @Red4EdVA, on facebook: @virginiaeducatorsunited, and on Instagram virginiaeducators.

- Use the hashtags:
 #Red4EdVA   #FundOurSchools   #RedForEd    #Red4Ed

- Watch this awesome (one of many) videos: 

- Share this post!