We came from across Virginia, from the valley to tidewater and from northern Virginia to just north of North Carolina, to talk about public education and how we can protect it for our students, educators, and families across this Commonwealth.
In our day-long Education Leadership Symposium at the beautiful Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens in Henrico, Virginia, parents, educators, and leaders from our Commonwealth were hard at work on a Saturday.
We identified how to engage and motivate parents.
We talked about how to recruit and help elect pro-public school candidates.
We shared how to create positive and proactive messaging that will get our message out to people and encourage them to act.
We gave tips for how to build influence and lobby for strong public education initiatives.
We examined best practices to ensure that every student in every zip code has access to the resources and support.
We discussed the threats and what we can do to protect Virginia’s public schools from those who wish to sell them to the lowest bidder.
We identified how fake grassroots organizations and dark money have influenced the national discussion and how to combat them.
Universally, everyone in the room supported that public funds should remain public and that those who use misinformation and culture wars to threaten our children’s education need to be opposed on our school boards, in the public forum, and at the voting box.
We all agreed that our children should not be used as political pawns, our teachers should not be political punching bags, and our schools should not be battlegrounds. Each person in the room committed to organizing for action to combat efforts that harm our students, teachers, and schools.
No matter whether attendees were parents, educators, officials, or activists, they all agreed that our families are worth fighting for. Despite politicians and profiteers who stand in the way, we know that our students and educators are worth the effort to stand up against those who want to defund our schools in order to line their pockets.
We are ready to work together to fight for all of our communities across Virginia to ensure that all students have access to free and appropriate public education without fear of being targeted for their gender, race, religion, country of origin, income-level, or identity.
Thank you for all your feedback so far. Here are a few of the emails we received:
"Outstanding program! Thanks to all for organizing such an effective event."
"Thank you for the informative and well-planned event! It was lovely and affirming to be there and it gave me a much-needed dose of hope for public education."
Join with us and Raise Your Hand for Public Education! Here are 4 quick actions you can take to join us in this work:
Sign on to the 4PE Education Bill of Rights
Send the 4PE Statement on the new Proposed Model Policy to your School Board Members
Extend a personal invitation to 4 new advocates to sign up for the 4PE Connecting Champions email newsletter, using this link: https://www.4publiceducation.org/join-our-list
Like, comment or share on a 4PE social media post in the next 48 hours.
Together, we are ready!