What are you thankful for this holiday? Your health. Your family. Your job. The student who rose above staggering challenges to succeed in school.
So much has happened this year to students, educators, workers and middle class families — some good and some not so good. In keeping with the spirit of the day, EdVotes would like to offer the following reasons why we should give thanks.
- For the Idaho parents, educators and citizens who collected more than 215,000 signatures this spring to force a November 2012 repeal vote on a series of laws silencing the voices of educators and eroding students’ learning conditions. They needed 142,296 signatures to put the measures before voters.
- For the more than 300,000 Ohio teachers, educational support professionals, college students, nurses, construction workers, farmers, and others who signed a petition asserting that a new state election law should be repealed because it erects politically motivated barriers that will severely limit access to voting for the elderly, college students, minorities, the poor and the disabled. The repeal referendum will be on the November 2012 ballot.
- For the educators and concerned citizens in Maine who supported Question 1. The citizens’ veto, put on the ballot after thousands of volunteers collected more than 50,000 signatures, repealed partisan legislation that eliminated Election Day registration.
- For the Iowa educators who played a leading role in electing state senate candidate Liz Mathis, thereby preserving narrow control over the state senate and keeping a last line of defense against extremist legislation from the state house and governor.
- For the Michigan educators and voters who recalled state Representative Paul Scott, chairman of the House Education Committee. Scott, a close ally of Governor Rick Snyder, was targeted because of his relentless attacks against educators, his leadership on behalf of cutting education funding and taxing senior pensions while supporting a $1.8 billion tax cut for corporations.
- For Wake County, NC, educators and progressive voters who wrested control of the state’s largest school system from Tea Party members. Education-friendly candidates won five of five board seats.
- For educators in Joplin, Mo., and in North Dakota for banding together in the aftermath of devastating tornadoes and flooding to collect school supplies, money, uniforms and electronics to give their newly homeless students a much-needed sense of consistency and a place where they can feel safe.
- For Ohio working families delivering a whopping defeat of a law by Governor John Kasich and state legislators that would have stripped educators, fire fighters, police officers, nurses and other workers of their right to advocate for the communities they serve.
- For Illinois teachers, police officers, firefighters, and other public sector workers who forced the state legislature to pull the plug on legislation that would have cut their pensions. Legislators were spurred by a dizzying grassroots letter-writing, phone-calling, lobbying, social media and ad campaign.
- And last but certainly not least, for the countless teachers, education support professionals and higher education faculty and staff who strive every day, against baseless attacks and limited resources, to deliver a high quality education to students of every background and ability level.
Leave a comment below and tell us what you are thankful for this Thanksgiving.