Bummed about Betsy DeVos?

Here are 5 things you can do.

Source: NEA Today

On Tuesday, the unfortunate news broke that Betsy DeVos — billionaire, ardent supporter of private and religious school vouchers and unregulated charter schools, and “Trump’s most controversial nominee” — was America’s new education secretary. While she has no prior experience working in public education, she has spent decades advocating for private school voucher programs and the privatization of neighborhood public schools.

If you are worried about what might happen to public schools now that DeVos is education secretary, you’re not alone. But don’t just sit there and stew. It’s more important than ever to join together, stand up, and defend our public schools and students.

Here are five things that you can do right now:

1. Join fellow educators, parents, and education advocates from across the state at MSEA’s March to Protect Our Schools in Annapolis on March 13 at 5 p.m. We’re marching for less standardized testing and to put a stop to Gov. Hogan’s efforts to send more taxpayer money to private, religious, and charter schools at the expense of traditional public schools. Bring your sign and march up to the State House to tell your legislators to protect our schools!

2. Dial the MSEA Legislative Hotline at 1–888–520–6732 and ask your senator to support the Less Testing, More Learning Act of 2017. The more calls we make to state representatives, the better shot our priorities have. So spread the word, and ask your friends and colleagues to call in too! If passed, this bill would set a 2% limit on the amount of annual instructional time that can be used for standardized testing, giving students and educators more time for creativity and learning. It passed the House unanimously last year, but we need to get it through the Senate and across the finish line this year.

3. Send an email to your legislators on the Less Testing, More Learning Act. Send your personal story of how too much testing has affected your students and school. Let’s improve our public schools by addressing how over-testing is creating a crucial barrier to learning.

4. Sign up for text alerts by texting MSEA to 84693. Stay in the know. We’ll send you action alerts and breaking news on state education issues. In the days ahead, we will need to keep standing strong to protect our public schools from cuts and privatization.

5. Give to the MSEA Fund for Children and Public Education. Elected officials make decisions every day about our salary, class size, benefits, course content, supplies and retirement. That’s why it’s so important that we build our political voice and sign up to be members of the Fund. From the bargaining table to the ballot box, MSEA members have power to improve our student’s learning conditions. The Fund uses contributions to raise our collective voice and support pro-public education candidates up and down the ballot.