We have noticed for many months now, on social media there has been a lot of discussion about President Trump’s pick for Secretary of Education and the impact his budget proposal and Betsy DeVos’ policies will have on public education, in general.
It’s unethical, it’s unacceptable, and it’s hard to believe we are experiencing this in our lifetime.
How do we really affect change and have an immediate impact? How do we Support Jeffco Kids?
We have been excited to see the huge interest and turn out at rallies and marches, and believe (in most cases) it works to send a message; but we have to ask, does it do more than that? Will it change anything this year or next? Will it implement any real change?
Here in Jeffco, our grassroots efforts are what set apart from other communities. It’s public education supporters and volunteers, like yourself, who have stepped up in the past that makes us powerful.
The federal level of our government may very likely be a lost cause until the next presidential election (sounds a little pessimistic, we know); but we have great power right here in Jeffco – at our local level. This is where we can make the biggest difference.
But it requires doing more than showing up on a Saturday morning in Downtown Denver to send a message. It means we need to make sure we are paying attention to our local elections – all of them – and participate in the process beyond the rallies.
We need to be diligent about who we elect:
To City Council –
We recently wrote about members of Lakewood City Council who voted against the grant funding for the Outdoor Lab Foundation, and other non-profits that do important work in Lakewood and Jeffco. http://www.supportjeffcokids.org/lakewood-nonprofit-grants/
To State Legislature –
Near the end of this year’s legislative session, we repeatedly wrote about SB61 and HB 1375. http://www.supportjeffcokids.org/hb1375-results-and-thanks/
SB61 did not pass, “…HB1375 passed (which was really just a dressed up SB61, which we opposed) and is being called a “compromise” which we believe couldn’t be further from the truth. In all honesty, it diverts funding from some of our neediest and most neglected populations in other areas of the state.” Some of our state legislators listened to us and some did not. While there are some decent elements attached to the bill, there are no repercussions for schools that do not adhere – exactly the problem we had with transparency issues with our recalled board. Who do you go to if there’s a violation? Well, no one. You can hire an attorney and go to court so the judge can tell them to do it over again and adhere, but who has that kind of money and time? It’s a bill with no teeth and the financial transparency provisions are a joke.
We need to be diligent about who we elect to our Board of Education!
Remember Witt, Newkirk, and Williams? Remember when 65% of the community recalled them for the egregious behavior and violations we all witnessed for two years?
Our school board elections this November are for 3 seats (on this 5 seat board, that’s a majority). We have a great deal at stake – every bit as much as if it were the Recall in 2015.
Email us now, if you haven’t already, and get on our email list and when we send out a call to action, we need you to join us! http://www.supportjeffcokids.org/contact/
As long as Betsy DeVos and this current administration are in place, it is vital we make sure we have people who share our values in office (at a local level, especially) to combat these efforts to defund public education and privatize our schools.
Americans for Prosperity (founded by David Koch of Koch Industries) applauded confirmation of Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, as a long time advocate for vouchers and charters under the guise of “school choice”.
AFP (Americans for Prosperity) just announced their plan to spend $200,000 in Colorado to support DeVos’ work, under the guise of “school choice”. AFP has money to spend, but Jeffco has grassroots volunteers. Please join our work at Support Jeffco Kids. http://www.supportjeffcokids.org/contact/
Support Jeffco Kids works hard every day to make sure you have the information necessary to stay on top of what’s going on in Jeffco (& Colorado) that will impact our children, their lives and their education.
We have a lot of parents, grandparents, community members and voters here in Jeffco who still don’t understand the challenges our schools face on a daily basis. They hear the rhetoric spewed by the likes of AFP, JSF, Koch, and the TeaParty, and believe it because they have no one telling them different. The misinformation these organizations (and some individuals) share that goes uncorrected or unchallenged is as damaging as it would be to teach our children that the world is flat.
Let’s be clear, we will do parades and rallies! They are fun to participate in and fantastic for meeting other like-minded individuals! No one will forget the SJK Harvest Parade Entry being 4 blocks long with hundreds of walkers, it was an amazing day and it felt great! But we hope you’ll do a little bit more!
We know August 17, when school starts, seems like a long way off. After all, it’s June and we all have long awaited plans to go on vacation, go to the pool, zoo, hikes, and do lots of family fun activities. But when August rolls around and school begins we need to be organized and ready to go, not just starting to organize.
Sign up to volunteer and take action with SJK http://www.supportjeffcokids.org/contact/
Consider donating $10, $15, $25 today http://www.supportjeffcokids.org/donations/