We need you to stand with us!
We think we have problems in Clark County School District (CCSD)? We think it cannot get any worse? Think again. We need to take ACTION NOW! As we watch our brothers and sisters ride the waves from their victories into what should be the calm after a storm, we are seeing an upward trend of them riding waves right back into another storm: The backlash of speaking up for our profession and our students.
In an ever growing trend we are seeing across the nation, the #RedforEd movement is at the strongest point it has ever been. However, as educators celebrate their victories as legislative bills sweep in to make dramatic changes to public education in various states and strikes that are holding school districts accountable for their unreasonable demands upon teachers to do more with less and increasingly chipping away at the ideal learning environment students deserve, there is a new trend that is starting to emerge: A backlash to punish educators and their allies for reminding elected officials, school district board members, and public education superintendents what the were elected to do. This reminder that the responsibility for providing equal access to quality education falls upon their shoulders to ensure that schools are funded in an adequate manner to ensure smaller class sizes are taught by highly qualified teachers is now the fuel to push back upon educators to "know" their place among policymaking.
On Thursday 6/13, and all future CCSD School Board Meetings and Work Sessions, NEA-SN is asking educators to wear #BlackforEd to show solidarity among our brothers and sisters who are being punished for their amazing work with the #RedforEd Movement. We will be encouraging this on Thursdays when return for the 2019-2020 school year as well.
Consequences for speaking up?
In February of this year, West Virginia united across 55 counties in a nine-day protest to compel Governor Justice to sign a bill that would appear as a victory as many of the demands educators pushed for became a reality. However, their victory is now short-lived as Senate Bill 451 outlines consequences such as establishment of charter schools, educators to be hired without certification or high school diploma, weakening bargaining rights and undermining protections, and tossing out the idea of seniority as forms of punishment.
Earlier this year, our fellow educators in Los Angeles Unified School District went on strike to demand dramatic changes that are necessary to reverse the lack of adequate spending within the district for years. South Carolina rallied to lobby for the Teachers' Freedom of Speech Act last month to protect the right of educators to support public policies and decisions in regard to public education.
The biggest hit educators are now facing? Arizona educators could face being punished for wearing red shirts to show solidarity under the #RedforEd Movement that sparked national attention to the growing trend of public education always being last on the state's plate to fund and support. Stemming from House Bill 2002, it appears that legislators look to include wearing red shirts as an act of speaking out politically within the classroom.
How does this affect me?
As many educators are aware, Superintendent Jara announced that he would balance the budget for the biennium that covers the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 school years. One thing has been consistent, we educators know that when the budget needs to be balanced, we are asked to do more with less. Currently, Superintendent Jara has stated that 170 dean positions will be cut from middle and high schools and have those positions be returned back to the classroom. However, notice that this is only to help close the $17 million deficit for the 2019-2020 school year.
What other cuts lie ahead? We cannot answer this at this time, nor can CCSD. Now is the time for ALL EDUCATORS to voice their concerns and frustrations as we enter another school year with many unknowns looming over us. While it appears the promise of a raise may become a reality, we are not truly sure at what cost. As we hear from our members and other educators, many do not feel striking is the answer. Many educators want a sound plan that does not put their position and livelihood at stake. #BlackforEd is another step in making our voices heard.
We need to take action! We need you!
There are other ways we can be vocal and visual with our frustrations since striking in Nevada is illegal. NEA-SN is forming Board Watch, a committee that works with our members, fellow educators, parents, students and community members to stand up and speak out about the lack of change within our district to support our students at CCSD's School Board Meetings.
While we would love for everyone who joins us to speak up at the microphone, we know public speaking is not for everyone. Board Watch will help anyone who wants to become involved and active in a manner that is most comfortable for them.
We are holding a Planning Meeting at NSEA on Thursday 6/13 2-4 PM before the CCSD School Board Regular Meeting. We will be discussing eye-catching strategies and talking points. If you wish to join us for our planning session, please RSVP by clicking here. We hope you will join us and attend the CCSD School Board Regular Meeting at 5 PM the same day!