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Wednesday, February 06, 2013

TOMORROW, Feb. 7th, Education Call-in day to Oppose Further Cuts to Education

The National Education Association (NEA) is hosting a National Call-in Day on Thursday February 7th to oppose cuts to federal public education funding. Educators, parents, students and members of communities throughout America are calling their Senators and Representatives to encourage them to make the right choices to support education and working families. Without action, there will be massive across-the-board cuts beginning in March. These cuts could mean kids packed into overcrowded classrooms, fewer services for special education students, and less early childhood education funding.

Call 866-293-7278 to reach your member of Congress! When you call, our automated system will ask for your zip code and connect you to your Senator or Representative. Everyone has a story of how cuts to public education would hurt, and on February 7th, we're going to fill up Congress's phone lines with our stories. Like Maria, a teacher in New Mexico:

"Our 3rd grade class decided to write letters to Santa in hopes that our local newspaper would publish them. One letter, written by an 8-year old girl, caught my eye. She asked Santa for toothbrushes, blankets, and school clothes. This same student came to school with a few pencils and a folder.

This same student whispered in my ear that she would like to bring cookies to our Christmas Party and that she could buy them because her mom gets food stamps on Friday. Most children asked for toys or electronics from Santa, but this child asked for necessities. Every time I hear "budget cuts" I wonder who is helping children like my 8 year old student. She has a sister and two brothers; don't you wonder what her siblings would ask Santa for Christmas? "I bought her the school supplies she needed and I bought her the items she requested. Mind you, I am a teacher receiving a teacher's pay. I have four children of my own and am attending college to earn my master's degree. Yet I still take money from my budget to help this student. I cannot remember how many times I have used a portion of my paycheck to buy supplies for my students. I am not the only one! Almost every staff member at my school has used funds from their own paycheck to provide a necessity for our students. Not only are our students affected when budget cuts are implemented, but so are teachers and school staff. I pray Congress sees the reality of our daily lives and understands how much we already give."

The need for adequate education funding is not limited to one 3rd grade class in New Mexico - it's a universal, fundamental need in all of our communities.
Call on February 7th for Pamela, who's middle school students in Florida come back to class hungry, hot and tired because the portion sizes of their meals have been cut and the air conditioning is insufficient to cool the whole school. Budget cuts to public education will only make these problems worse, at exactly the time when Pamela needs to be helping these students learn and build the fundamental skills to lead happy, productive lives.

Judith, in Maine, is counting on us to stand up for funding for registered nurses, and the students in the four elementary schools that she serves.
This year, too many students are coming to school without warm clothes, sneakers for gym or for some, even socks. The teachers, secretaries, cooks, custodians and principals all work together to buy what these children need. Federal funding cuts to public education wouldn't just take away a trusted teacher, they'd lay off the educator who is providing basic clothing necessities.

We have the opportunity, and the power, to make sure that our elected officials hear from us, and hear the real stories of what education funding cuts will do to all of us. Join us in calling Congress at 866-293-7278 on February 7th!

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