Only a Moment's Victory
May 19th, 2021. Posted by the FEF Team
Fund Education Fairly was started earlier this year to ensure that the Minnesota State Legislature properly funded our public school system. Our focus narrowed in April in response to the Republican-controlled State Senate recommending public education be effectively dismantled.
We knew this would be an unpopular idea for voters across the state, and sought to make their voices heard. For the next six weeks we targeted districts where their state senators were vulnerable to defeat.
News broke yesterday, Tuesday May 18th, that a deal had been reached between the Legislature and the Governor’s office, where schools would no longer face a $500 million budget slashing. It’s a sigh of relief, no doubt, and we have the leadership in the House and Governor's mansion as well as many groups pressuring the Senate to thank.
But why did this happen in the first place? Why are our children—many of whom have experienced immeasurable trauma from the disruption of their schooling—being used as a bargaining chip by the Republican State Senate? Have they no decency?
Disaster may have been averted, but one thing is clear: our children’s schools are not safe. These senators are not negotiating in good faith—they are willing to sacrifice our collective future for their special interests. We must work to make sure our children are never on the chopping block again.
Solutions, not Slashings
May 3rd, 2021. Posted by Adriana Cerrillo
As a mother with a child in the public school system, I cannot overstate the fear that I felt when I saw the Minnesota Senate proposed to cut to the state budget by nearly 80%. That's not a serious proposal—that's just chaos. My child deserves stability. Gutting his school and decimating his classmates is not a solution conducive to a safe environment for learning. And Minnesota isn't the only place where a war on education is occurring.
Milwaukee's school district in 1991 created a voucher system similar to the one being proposed in Minnesota, where parents can put a tax credit toward a private school instead of a public one. By 2015, over one hundred participating schools in Milwaukee had closed—some mid year, without warning. Imagine how destabilizing of an experience that must have been for those students, and the stress felt by their parents. In the spirit of "competition," Regulation of these private schools was and is still limited, meaning schools of dubious quality operate with impunity.
I could not let that happen to my community. The politicians that continue to support such proposals need to be held accountable. That is why I co-founded Fund Education Fairly. I hope you will join me in our campaign for equitable funding for our school system nationwide.